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Full text of "Bomb,: a novel"




^^ 




CHICAGO IN FICTION 



UNIVERSITY 
OF FLORIDA 
LIBRARIES 




COLLEGE LIBRARY 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://archive.org/details/bombnoveOOharr 



The BOMB 




# CHICAGO IN FICTION 

SAUL BELLOW 

ADVISORY E D ITO R 




The BOMB 



A NOVEL BY FRANK HARRIS 



INTRODUCTION BY JOHN DOS PASSOS 



CHICAGO & LONDON 
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS 



The Bomb was first published in 1909 by Mitchell Kennerley, New 
York. It was republished by the author in 1920. 




Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 63-22587 

The University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London 
The University of Toronto Press, Toronto 5, Canada 

Introduction © 1963 by The University of Chicago. The 

Bomb © 1909 by Mitchell Kennerley; © renewed 1936 by 

Nellie Harris. All rights reserved. Published 1963. Printed 

in the United States of America 



Frank Harris' Bomb 

AN INTRODUCTION BY JOHN DOS PASSOS 



FRANK HARRIS was an objectionable little 
man. He was sallow as a gypsy. He had bat 
ears, dark hair with a crinkle in it that grew 
low on the forehead, and a truculent mustache. 
People remarked on the richness of his bass 
voice. His charm was great, particularly for the 
opposite sex. He had the gift of gab to a sub- 
lime degree and a streak of deep scoundrelism 
that was the ruin of him. 

A natural storyteller, tall tales so permeated 
his private life that his biographers were hard 
put to it to disentangle any facts at all from 
the web of fiction he spun about himself. Par- 
ticularly in the twenties, when he was editing 
Pearson s Magazine in New York, there used 
to be considerable journalistic searching for 
"the real Frank Harris." One wonders now if 
such a creature ever existed. He wrote some 
good short stories. He might have developed 
into a first-rate novelist if he hadn't been such 
a damn liar. 



The Bomb 



Though at times he named Brighton, Eng- 
land, as his birthplace, amid other variants of 
his curriculum vitae, it seems likely that he first 
saw the light at Galway on the west coast of 
Ireland, on St. Valentine's Day in 1856, and 
that he was christened James Thomas Harris. 
His parents were Plymouth Brethren, of the 
most fundamentalist of Protestant sects, and 
were probably Welsh. His mother died when 
he was very small. His father was a seafaring 
man who had managed to work his way up in 
the Royal Navy from ship's boy to lieutenant 
in command of a revenue cutter, no mean feat 
in those days. 

The father was always at sea. The children 
lived higgledy-piggledy, shifting from one 
small school to another as they followed their 
father's ports of call. Ireland was in a state of 
barely suppressed revolt. These were the days 
of the Fenian "troubles." Harris, who had been 
a great reader of Captain Marryat, told in 
later life of his bitter disappointment that his 
father failed to get him into the Royal Navy 
when he was fourteen. He always blamed his 
father for that. 

Little Jim Harris was obviously a bright 
youngster, a voracious reader with a retentive 
memory. His father, who wanted to do what 
he thought best for the boy, sent him to a clas- 
sical English school, which he hated with an 



VI 



The Bomb 



eternal hatred. With ten pounds he managed 
to wangle there as a prize for scholastic attain- 
ments he ran away to Liverpool and bought 
himself steerage passage to America. 

He must have reached New York in the 
early seventies. German and Irish immigrants 
poured off every ship. The country was in a 
state of intermittent boom and bust. Some 
greenhorns starved. Others made fortunes. 
Everybody talked big. 

Harris became enormously Americanized. 
He decided his name was Frank. Like a Hora- 
tio Alger hero he started out shining shoes. 
Then he worked as a sandhog in the pressur- 
ized caissons they used in building the piers for 
Roebling's Brooklyn Bridge. He saw a man die 
of the bends and went back to shining shoes. 

His story was that a gentleman whose shoes 
he was shining heard him quote some Latin 
and was so impressed that he offered him a job 
as night clerk in a Chicago hotel. If we can 
believe Frank Harris he was managing the 
entire hotel by the time he was seventeen. 
Some Texas cattlemen put up at his hostelry 
and induced him to go west with them to make 
his fortune. 

He was physically husky, and as he told the 
tale, with an everincreasing abundance of de- 
tail, a great man with the ladies. He learned to 
ride in Texas and sopped up sagas of Indian- 



VI 1 



The Bomb 



fighting and cattlerustling across the Rio 
Grande. He was developing a flair for writing. 
His first articles came out in frontier news- 
papers. Two of his brothers seem to have 
settled in Lawrence, Kansas, and at some 
point he studied for a year or so at the univer- 
sity there, became a naturalized citizen — so his 
story goes — and was admitted to the Kansas 
bar. 

He caught the moneygrubbing fever of the 
time. He'd speculate in anything. When a 
financial crash wiped out his and his brothers' 
investments in Lawrence realestate, he went to 
work for a newspaper in Philadelphia. From 
then on his accounts of his meetings with the 
literary great become as confusing as his tales 
of amorous successes. He seems to have actual- 
ly grasped the hand of Walt Whitman after a 
lecture. He told of visiting Emerson in Con- 
cord. A name was all he needed to hang a story 
on. He became the great namedropper of the 
century. 

Somewhere around the time he came of age 
Frank Harris decided he wanted to be an 
Englishman instead of an American. Little 
malpractices, like the rumored theft of a cer- 
tain judge's lawbooks, may have made it too 
hot for him in Lawrence, and possibly he wore 
out his welcome with the college professor lie 
was sponging on in Philadelphia. He tells a 



Vlll 



The Bomb 



fantastic tale, a little too much like Jules 
Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days to he 
believahle, of crossing the continent to San 
Francisco with a highyaller paramour in his 
stateroom on the sleeper and sailing from the 
Golden Gate for Bombay and Capetown. 
Somehow, he did get himself from Philadelphia 
to Paris. 

His great admiration was Carlyle. It was the 
Paris of the French Revolution that he saw. 
He hired himself a cheap room on the rue St. 
Jacques and learned the language by going 
through Hugo's Hernani and Madame B ovary 
with a dictionary. He attended Taine's lec- 
tures at the Sorbonne and made enough im- 
pression on that venerable critic to get a rec- 
ommendation from him when he needed one. 

When his money ran out he went to see his 
father who had retired on halfpay at Denbigh 
in the beautiful Welsh Vale of Clwyd. He left 
Denbigh in a hurry to avoid having to marry 
a young woman who thought herself engaged 
to him; and, with the help of literary friends, 
got himself taken on as a teacher at Brighton 
College. The meeting with the aged Carlyle 
which later became such an important part of 
the Frank Harris legend may have taken place 
in Brighton if it took place at all. Forever after 
he posed as an expert on poor Carlyle's marital 
infelicity. 



IX 



The Bomb 



As Harris told the story it was during his 
stay in Brighton that he speculated so success- 
fully in Chilean bonds that he laid away twen- 
tyfive hundred pounds to finance his educa- 
tion. Teaching at a provincial college was not 
the young careerist's meat. After some kind of 
falling out with the college authorities Frank 
Harris was suddenly heard of as a warcorre- 
spondent in Moscow for the American press, 
attached to the great pan-Slavist General 
Skobeliev in his short war against the Turks. 
Next he turned up in Heidelberg, listening to 
Kuno Fischer lecture on Shakespeare. As a 
writer he was planning to model himself on 
Carlyle. He sent Carlyle a wild west novel he 
was writing for his criticism. Since Carlyle was 
saturated with German scholarship Harris was 
bound he would seek his education in Ger- 
many. 

Expelled from Heidelberg, so he told it, for 
knocking down an insulting student with his 
fist, he moved on to Gottingen and Berlin. He 
became fluent in German, read Goethe and 
Heine, and soaked up all the Socialist theories 
out of which Bismarck was building his welfare 
state as a bulwark for Hohenzollern autocracy. 
"Heroes and Hero-worship," The Iron Chan- 
cellor became his great admiration. In English 
Shakespeare was god. 

European students in the years after the 



The Bomb 



Franco-Prussian war were obsessed with so- 
cialism and sex, the two prongs of the revolt of 
the intellectuals against the established order. 
In Vienna Freud was soon to be inciting his 
patients to erotic dreams. In London Marx was 
dissecting capitalism in the library of the Brit- 
ish Museum. Frank Harris completed his 
Wanderjahr with a grand tour that took him 
to Florence and Athens and Constantinople. 
He never tired of talking about sex. Spouting 
conies drolatiques of cosmopolitan bed wrest ling, 
he went back to Paris. There, by his own con- 
fession, he became the intimate friend of Guy 
de Maupassant. Turgenev somehow he muffed. 

At the age of twenty seven, Frank Harris, 
tingling with lust and greed and ambition, was 
ready to take on the foggy capital of the Vic- 
torian world. He wrote of London as a woman 
"with wet draggled skirts," with "glorious eyes 
lighting up her wet pale face." He had somehow 
wangled a letter of introduction from Carlyle 
to Froude. It was as a poet he first showed him- 
self. He had taken to representing himself as 
an American, an Irishman, or an Englishman 
as the occasion demanded. According to Har- 
ris' story Froude introduced him to literary 
society with a great dinner. 

Be that as it may, by the summer of 1883 
Harris had only managed to publish an occa- 
sional bookreview in the Spectator. His money 



\i 



The Bomb 



must have run out because soon we hear of him 
making slim pickings as a reporter for the 
Evening News. 

He had come back from Germany a Socialist. 
He didn't disdain to let his voice be heard at 
radical gatherings in Hyde Park. It was at a 
Socialist meeting that he first met Shaw. He 
told of being introduced to Karl Marx, and 
found the author of Das Kapital full of loving 
kindness. When Harris told him he had written 
the greatest book since The Wealth of Nations, 
he cried out that Harris' German was Wun- 
derbar. 

Socialists, Communists, anarchists were all 
of a heap in those days. Some Hyde Park ora- 
tors were rumored to be subsidized by the 
Conservative party to undermine Gladstone's 
dominant Liberals. Kropotkin smelt the agent 
provocateur in glib young Harris and warned his 
disciples away from him. 

Frank Harris was dragging on the shabby 
life of an apprentice writer in a Bloomsbury 
boardinghouse when suddenly he burst on 
Fleet Street as the editor-in-chief of the Even- 
ing News. It is typical of Harris' career that 
the most believable explanation of his sudden 
leap to fortune is found in a novel called The 
Adventures of John Johns, a bestseller in its 
day, which according to the gossip of the Cafe 
Royal, was based on Harris' career. John Johns 



xn 



The Bomb 



became editor of an important London news- 
paper by going to bed with the publisher's wife. 

He edited the Evening News for several years 
with great success. As editor he was skilful, re- 
sourceful, and ruthless. By using the sensation- 
mongering methods that were soon to bring 
William Randolph Hearst such success in 
America, he turned the paper from a liability 
into an asset for the owners in a few months. 
Years later he explained to some journalist 
friends that when he first took the sheet over 
his idea was to edit it as a cosmopolitan scholar 
of twentyeight. "Nobody wanted my opinions; 
but as I went downwards and began to edit it 
as I felt at twenty, then at eighteen, then at 
sixteen, I was more successful: but when I got 
to my tastes at fourteen years of age, I found 
instantaneous response. Kissing and fighting 
were the only things I cared for at thirteen or 
fourteen and these are the things the English 
public desires and enjoys today." 

As editor of the Evening News, in spite of the 
disrepute of that scandalsheet among men of 
good will, Frank Harris became a figure in Lon- 
don society. He was dressed by the best Bond 
Street tailors, adopted high Spanish heels to 
look less pintsized, and was admitted to a 
number of clubs. For a man with a literary 
career to make the Evening Neivs was a step- 
pingstone. Though Harris had already become 



Xlll 



The Bomb 



famous for his social agility, it was with aston- 
ishment that the English reading public dis- 
covered that this young upstart, a mere boy 
of thirty who had appeared out of nowhere, 
was to edit the Fortnightly Review. The Fort- 
nightly Review was the most respectable liter- 
ary journal in England, but respectability gave 
no assurance of circulation. Frank Harris was 
a circulation builder in the modern sense. 

The eight years he edited the Fortnightly Re- 
view and his four years that followed as owner 
of the Saturday Review constituted the crown- 
ing period of his life. He was the center of the 
literary nineties. He discovered H. G. Wells. 
He launched Shaw as a drama critic. He en- 
couraged Cunninghame Graham and Max 
Beerbohm. He published Swinburne and Oscar 
Wilde and Beardsley. In spite of a continuing 
liaison with Laura Clapton, which he publi- 
cized as the great love of his life, he married a 
wealthy widow with a house in Park Lane. His 
luncheons were notorious, in Park Lane or at 
the Cafe Royal, where he liked to seat his 
guests at an oval table in the center of the res- 
taurant so that all London could overhear his 
gibes and indiscretions. His memory served 
him well. In a society appreciative of good con- 
versation, his talk was a volcano of anecdote 
and paradox, laced with the scabrous revela- 
tions that so thrilled the prudish Victorians. 



xiv 



The Bomb 



"Modesty," he claimed was "the fig leaf of 
mediocrity." He was the bounder par excel- 
lence. When he boasted to Oscar Wilde that 
he'd gotten himself invited to every great 
house in London, Wilde made the famous re- 
joinder "But never more than once, Frank." 

He was the arriviste who never quite arrived. 
His wife soon tired of his infidelities and his 
cadging of her money for endless speculations 
on the shadier fringes of the City. Then there 
were freakish things about his personal habits. 
A colossal eater and drinker he had taken to 
using the stomach pump after meals as a sub- 
stitute for the Roman vomitorium. Her solici- 
tors arranged a separation. 

After a purple period the forces of British 
respectability were gaining the upper hand 
again. One symptom was the trial and venom- 
ous persecution of Oscar Wilde. Another was 
Harris' being cashiered as editor of the Fort- 
nightly. According to his account the manage- 
ment objected to an article which described 
some bomb-throwing French anarchists with- 
out condemning them and to paying Swin- 
burne fifty pounds for a poem which they con- 
sidered seditious. 

The Saturday Review was a rearguard action. 
As a leader of opinion he was already slipping. 
Other stars of the Cafe Royal, Lord Alfred 
Douglas and Oscar Wilde, were fading into 



xv 



The Bomb 



degradation and ignominy. Bernard Shaw was 
saved by his sense of humor and the thorough 
monogamy of his personal life. Wells, who kept 
his bohemianism quite private, was enshrined 
in the hearts of suburbia by his mixture of 
science fiction with social idealism. Licentious- 
ness was going out of style. Harris became the 
man of lost causes. 

He defended Wilde and Havelock Ellis. He 
took the unpopular side in the Boer War. He 
attacked British imperialism and prudishness 
and hypocrisy and the poems of Alfred, Lord 
Tennyson. 

His life teemed with desperate expedients to 
raise money, deals with bucketshop operators, 
the use of his social connections to promote the 
sale of blue-sky securities. He had learned to 
live in the style of the Grand Dukes. He had 
become an addict of the Hotel du Cap at 
Antibes much frequented by the literary Brit- 
ish in those days. Possibly hoping to cash in on 
the friendship, which we are assured was 
platonic, of the wealthy American lady who 
was then Princess of Monaco, he invested in a 
Monte Carlo hotel, then in one at Eze. He had 
begun to believe his own stories of his youthful 
success in the hotel business in Chicago. His 
luck had turned. Both schemes went awry. 

He had to make his living by writing. His 
stories of the American west had always gone 



XVI 



The Bomb 



over when he told them from the head of the 
table. He started to write them down. His 
style was forceful and clear. He had the narra- 
tive drive. His first publications were Ameri- 
can-type short stories. Then he tried to emu- 
late the success of Prosper Merimee's Carmen 
by a novelette about a bullfighter which he 
called "Montes the Matador." Montes was a 
great success. George Meredith praised it be- 
cause the bull's feelings were so well described. 
Harris' hunting with the hounds hadn't 
brought him the wealth and position he craved. 
From now on he would run with the hares. 

Now, "in disgrace with fortune and men's 
eyes," as his beloved Shakespeare had put it, 
he found himself more and more siding with 
the exploited and the unfortunate. He would 
write with intent. He'd shatter the complacen- 
cy of the wellheeled Victorians who were turn- 
ing him down. After a hurried trip to America 
to refresh his memory of Chicago in 1908 he 
published The Bomb. 

When on May 4, 1886, in the course of the 
rioting that accompanied a wave of agitation 
for the eight-hour day, a bomb was thrown 
into a group of police advancing to break up a 
protest meeting in the Chicago Hay market, 
the British press joined the American press in 



XVI 1 



The Bomb 



intemperate denunciation of the murderous 
anarchists. 

Frank Harris was still groping for the four- 
teenyearold mentality as editor of the Evening 
News. It was not till many months later that 
any trace of the feelings of the erstwhile Hyde 
Park orator appeared in its columns. Even 
then, though in private he seems to have 
doubted the guilt of the indicted anarchists, 
his name did not appear along with that of his 
friend George Bernard Shaw, or along with 
William Morris' or Peter Kropotkin's, on an 
appeal for amnesty approved by a meeting of 
protest in London in the fall of 1887. The Park 
Lane viveur could hardly associate himself with 
the grubby massmeetings of radical sectarians. 

By the time Harris picked up the story the 
hanged men had been rehabilitated in the opin- 
ion of a large sector of American opinion. Gov- 
ernor John P. Altgeld of Illinois, with a rare 
exhibition of civic courage, pardoned the two 
survivors in 1892. Altgeld went further. In a 
careful analysis of the trial he proved, to the 
satisfaction of most fairminded citizens, that 
though the Chicago anarchists might have been 
guilty of inciting to riot, they were innocent of 
conspiracy to commit murder, or of the bomb- 
throwing itself. Altgeld's pursuit of justice was 
the ruin of his career as a politician. 



xvni 



The Bomb 



The Bomb might well he classed as an early 
form of the "proletarian" novel. 

I don't know whether Frank Harris is a 
"great" writer or not. He had drive and force. 
He had a knack for sketching characters. His 
writing stands up with Wells's or Kipling's as 
an example of the limpid English style of the 
period. He was very much of a precursor. 

As a newspaper editor he foreshadowed the 
sensationalism of the cheap English press of 
our day. In The Man Shakespeare he led in the 
effort to save the mighty dead from the grad- 
grinds and the embalmers. Perhaps he loved 
Shakespeare "not wisely but too well." With 
his Contemporary Portraits he introduced into 
English with entertaining results a French 
strain of literary journalism. In My Life and 
Loves, and in the pornographic material he 
peddled pathetically from door to door in the 
latter part of his life, he anticipated the flood 
of smut that now clogs the literary market- 
place. 

Critics have complained of historical inaccu- 
racies in The Bomb. It rings true to the emo- 
tions of the time. Picking Rudolph Schnaubelt, 
the man who disappeared, as the bombthrower 
is as good a guess as any. If anybody knew who 
threw the bomb he has kept his mouth shut to 
this day. Harris fell into an anachronism in his 
description of the building of Brooklyn Bridge, 



XIX 



The Bomb 



which refers to the early seventies instead of 
the early eighties, but he had to work in his 
own experiences and recollections. Half a cen- 
tury after the book was first printed the reader 
will find the re-creation of the mood of the time 
singularly convincing. 

Looking back on the nineteenth-century 
anarchists from the sixties of the twentieth 
century, when exploitation of aspirations and 
resentments has become part of the standard 
textbook of political careermaking, the Chica- 
go anarchists seem as naively alien as the Chil- 
dren's Crusade. The oppressions and injustices 
that they protested against were real, but the 
notion that society could be shocked into jus- 
tice and charity by the blowing up of a few 
policemen ranks with delusions relegated to the 
psychiatric ward. Out of the energy of these 
blind protests and deluded hatreds, of men 
struggling against adjustment to the changes 
in their lives enforced by technological revolu- 
tion, we have seen terrible empires built. Per- 
haps the warspirit of political ideologies is los- 
ing its hold as the passions that fed the wars of 
religion lost their hold in the past. In any case 
The Bomb will give you a glimpse of an odd and 
moving and disturbing, and fortunately fairly 
unique, episode in Chicago's history. 



Foreword 



I HAVE been asked to write a foreword to the 
American edition of The Bomb and the pub- 
lisher tells me that what the American public 
will most want to know is how much of the 
story is true. 

All through 1885 and 1886 I took a lively in- 
terest in the labour disputes in Chicago. The 
reports that reached us in London from Ameri- 
can newspapers were all bitterly one-sided: 
they read as if some enraged capitalist had dic- 
tated them: but after the bomb was thrown 
and the labour leaders were brought to trial 
little islets of facts began to emerge from the 
sea of lies. 

I made up my mind that if I ever got the 
opportunity I would look into the matter and 
see whether the Socialists who had been sent 
to death deserved the punishment meted out 
to them amid the jubilation of the capitalistic 
press. 



XXI 



The Bomb 



In 1907 I paid a visit to America and spent 
some time in Chicago visiting the various 
scenes and studying the contemporary news- 
paper accounts of the tragedy. I came to the 
conclusion that six out of seven men punished 
in Chicago were as innocent as I was, and that 
four of them had been murdered — according to 
law. 

I felt so strongly on the subject that when I 
sketched out The Bomb I determined not to 
alter a single incident but to take all the facts 
just as they occurred. The book then, in the 
most important particulars, is a history, and is 
true, as history should be true, to life, when 
there are no facts to go upon. 

The success of the book in England has been 
due partly perhaps to the book itself; but also 
in part to the fact that it enabled Englishmen 
to gloat over a fancied superiority to Ameri- 
cans in the administration of justice. The 
prejudice shown in Chicago, the gross unfair- 
ness of the trial, the savagery of the sentences 
allowed Englishmen to believe that such judi- 
cial murders were only possible in America. I 
am not of that opinion. At the risk of disturb- 
ing the comfortable self-esteem of my com- 
patriots I must say that I believe the adminis- 
tration of justice in the United States is at least 
as fair and certainly more humane than it is in 
England. The Socialists in Trafalgar Square, 



XXll 



The Bomb 



when John Burns and Cunninghame Graham 
were maltreated, were even worse handled in 
proportion to their resistance than their fellows 
in Chicago. 

I am afraid the moral of the story is a little 
too obvious: it may, however, serve to remind 
the American people how valuable are some of 
the foreign elements which go to make up their 
complex civilization. It may also incidentally 
remind the reader of the value of sympathy 
with ideas which he perhaps dislikes. 

Frank Harris 

London 
January 1909 



XXI 11 



Chapter I 



"Hold the high way and let thy spirit thee lead 
And Truth shal thee delivery it is no drede. " 

TV/TY name is Rudolph Schnaubelt. I 
A threw the bomb which killed eight 
policemen and wounded sixty in Chicago in 
1886. Now I lie here in Reichholz, Bavaria, 
dying of consumption under a false name, in 
peace at last. 

But it is not about myself I want to write: 
I am finished. I got chilled to the heart last 
winter, and grew steadily worse in those hate- 
ful, broad, white Muenchener streets which 
are baked by the sun and swept by the icy 
air from the Alps. Nature or man will soon 
deal with my refuse as they please. 

But there is one thing I must do before I 
go out, one thing I have promised to do. I 
must tell the story of the man who spread 
terror through America, the greatest man 
that ever lived, I think; a born rebel, murder- 



The Bomb 



er and martyr. If I can give a fair portrait 
of Louis Lingg, the Chicago Anarchist, as 
I knew him, show the body and soul and 
mighty purpose of him, I shall have done 
more for men than when I threw the bomb. . . . 

How am I to tell the story? Is it possible 
to paint a great man of action in words; show 
his cool calculation of forces, his unerring 
judgment, and the tiger spring ? The best 
thing I can do is to begin at the beginning, 
and tell the tale quite simply and sincerely. 
" Truth/ ' Lingg said to me once, "is the 
skeleton, so to speak, of all great works of 
art." Besides, memory is in itself an artist. 
It all happened long ago, and in time one for- 
gets the trivial and remembers the important. 

It should be easy enough for me to paint 
this one man's portrait. I don't mean that 
I am much of a writer; but I have read some 
of the great writers, and know how they pic- 
ture a man, and any weakness of mine is 
more than made up for by the best model a 
writer ever had. God! if he could come in 
here now and look at me with those eyes of 
his, and hold out his hands, I'd rise from this 
bed and be well again; shake off the cough 
and sweat and deadly weakness, shake off 
anything. He had vitality enough in him to 
bring the dead to life, passion enough for a 
hundred men. . . . 



The Bomb 



I learned so much from him, so much; 
even more, strange to say, since I lost him 
than when I was with him. In these lonely 
latter months I have read a good deal, thought 
a good deal; and all my reading has been 
illumined by sayings of his which suddenly 
come back to my mind, and make the dark 
ways plain. I have often wondered why I 
did not appreciate this phrase or that when he 
used it. But memory treasured it up, and 
when the time was ripe, or rather, when I 
was ripe for it, I recalled it, and realized its 
significance; he is the spring of all my growth. 

The worst of it is that I shall have to talk 
about myself at first, and my early life, and 
that will not be interesting; but I can't help 
it, for after all I am the mirror in which the 
reader must see Lingg, and I want him to 
feel pretty certain that the mirror is clean at 
least, and does not distort truth, or disfigure it. 

1 was born near Munich, in a little village 
called Lindau. My father was an Ober- 
foerster, a chief in the forestry department. 
My mother died early. I was brought up 
healthily enough in the hard way of the Ger- 
man highlands. At six I went to the village 
school. Because my clothes were better than 
most of the other boys' clothes, because every 
now and then I had a few Pfennige to spend, 
I thought myself better than my schoolmates. 



The Bomb 



The master, too, never beat me or scolded 
me. I must have been a dreadful little snob. 
I remember liking my first name, Ruldoph. 
There were princes, forsooth, called Rudolph; 
but Schnaubelt I hated, it seemed vulgar and 
common. 

When I was about twelve or thirteen I had 
learned all that the village school had to teach. 
My father wished me to go to Munich to 
study in the Gymnasium, though he grudged 
the money it would cost to keep me there. 
When he was not drinking or working he 
used to preach the money-value of education 
to me, and I was willing enough to believe 
him. He never showed me much affection, 
and I was not sorry to go out into the larger 
world, and try my wings in a long flight. 

It was about this time that I first of all 
became aware of nature's beauty. Away 
to the south our mountain valley broke down 
towards the flat country, and one could look 
towards Munich far over the plain all painted 
in different colours by the growing crops. 
Suddenly one evening the scales fell from my 
eyes; I saw the piney mountain and the misty- 
blue plain and the golden haze of the setting 
sun, and stared in wondering admiration. 

How was it I had never before seen their 
beauty ? 

Well, I went to the Gymnasium. I sup- 



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pose I was dutiful and teachable: we Ger- 
mans have those sheep- virtues in our blood. 
But in my reading of Latin and Greek I 
came across thoughts and thinkers,, and at 
length Heine, the poet, woke me to question 
all the fairy tales of childhood. Heine was 
my first teacher, and I learned from him 
more than I learned in the class-rooms; it 
was he who opened for me the door of the 
modern world. I finished with the Gymna- 
sium when I was about eighteen, and left it, 
as Bismarck said he left it, a Freethinker 
and Republican. 

In the holidays I used to go home to Lindau; 
but my father made my life harder and harder 
to me. He was away all day at work. He did 
work, that is one thing I must say for him; 
but he left at home the girl who took charge 
of the house, and she used to give herself airs. 
She was justified in doing so, I suppose, poor 
girl; but I did not like it at the time, and re- 
sented her manner, snob that I was. When 
I had any words with Suesel I was sure to 
have a row with my father afterwards, and 
he didn't pick his words, especially when he 
had drink in him. I seemed to anger him; 
intellectually we were at opposite poles. Even 
when cheating or worse he was a devout Lu- 
theran, and his servility to his superiors was 
only equalled by the harshness with which 



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he treated his underlings. His credulity and 
servility were as offensive to my new dignity 
of manhood as his cruelty to his subordinates 
or his bestial drunkenness. 

For some unhappy months I was at a loose 
end. I was very proud, thought no end of 
myself and my petty scholarly achievements; 
but I didn't know what course to steer in life, 
what profession to adopt. Besides, the year 
of military service stood between me and my 
future occupation, and the mere thought of 
the slavery was inexpressibly hateful to me. 
I hated the uniform, the livery of murder; 
hated the discipline which turned a man into 
a machine; hated the orders which I must 
obey, even though they were absurd; hated 
the mad unreason of the vile, soul-stifling 
system. Why should I, a German, fight 
Frenchmen or Russians or Englishmen ? I 
was willing enough to defend myself or my 
country if we were attacked; confident enough, 
too, in courage, to believe that a militia like 
the Swiss would suffice for that purpose. But 
I loved the French, as my teacher Heine loved 
them; a great Cultur-volk, I said to myself — 
a nation in the first rank of civilization; I 
loved the Russians, too, an intelligent, sym- 
pathetic, kindly people; and I admired the 
adventurous English. Race-differences were 
as delightful in my eyes as the genera-differ- 



The Bomb 



ences of flowers. Wars and titles belonged 
to the dark past and childhood of humanity; 
were we never to be breeched as men simply, 
and brothers ? We mortals, I thought, should 
be trained to fight disease and death, and not 
one another; we should be sworn to conquer 
nature and master her laws, that was the new 
warfare in which wisdom and courage would 
have their full reward in the humanization of 
man. 

Thoughts like these lighted my darkness; 
but the shadows were heavy. I was at odds 
with my surroundings; I detested the brain- 
less conventions of life, the so-called aristo- 
cratic organization of it; besides, my father 
did not care to support me any longer; I was 
a burden to him; and in this state of intoler- 
able dependence and unrest my thoughts 
turned to America. More and more the pur- 
pose fixed itself in me to get money and emi- 
grate; the new land seemed to call me. I 
wanted to be a writer or teacher; I wanted to 
see the world, to win new experiences; I 
wanted freedom, love, honour, everything that 
young men want, vaguely; my blood was in a 
ferment. . . . 

It was a sordid quarrel with my father, in 
which he told me that at my age he was al- 
ready earning his living, which made up my 
mind for me, that and a sentence of Hermann 



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Grimm, which happened at the time to be 
singing itself in my ears: — 

"An all over-stretching impulse towards 
equality, before God and the law, alone con- 
trols to day the history of our race." 

That was what I wanted, or thought I 
wanted — equality — 

"Ein ueber-Alles sich ausstreckendes Ver- 
langen nach Gleichheit vor Gott und vor 
dem Gesetze. ..." 

Not much in the phrase, the reader will say, 
I'm afraid; but I give it here because at the 
moment it had an extraordinary effect upon 
me. It was the first time to my knowledge 
that a properly equipped thinker had recog- 
nized the desire for equality as a motive force 
at all, let alone as the chief driving power in 
modern politics. 

A few days after our quarrel I told my 
father I intended to go to America, and asked 
him if he could let me have five hundred 
marks ($125) to take me to New York. I 
fixed the sum at five hundred because he had 
promised to let me have that amount during 
my first year in the University. I told him 
that I wanted it as a loan and not as a gift, 
and at length I got it, for Suesel backed up 
my request — a kindness I did not at all ex- 
pect, which moved me to shamefaced grati- 
tude. But Suesel wanted no thanks; she 



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merely wished to get rid of rne, she said; for 
if I stayed I should be a drag on my father. 

I travelled fourth-class to Hamburg, and 
in three days was on the high seas. I was 
the only man of any education in the steerage, 
and I kept to myself, and spent most of my 
time studying English. Still, I made one or 
two acquaintances. There was a young fel- 
low called Ludwig Henschel going out as a 
waiter, who had worked for some years in 
England, and regarded America as Tom 
Tiddler's ground. He loved to show off to me 
and advise me; but all the while was a little 
proud of my acquaintance and my scholar- 
ship, and I tolerated him chiefly because his 
attitude flattered my paltry vanity. 

There was a North German, too, called 
Raben, who was by way of being a journalist, 
though he had more conceit than reading, and 
his learning was to seek. He was small and 
thin, with washed-out, sandy hair, grey eyes, 
and white eyelashes. He had a nervous 
staccato way of talking; but he met one's 
eye boldly, and though instinct warned me 
to avoid him, I knew so little of life that I 
took his stare for proof of frank honesty, and 
felt with some remorse that my aversion 
wronged him. Had I known then of him what 
I learned later, I'd have — but there! Judas 
didn't go about branded. I think Raben dis- 



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liked me. At first he tried to make up to me; 
but in an argument one day he blundered in 
a Latin tag, and saw that I had detected the 
mistake. He drew away from me then, and 
tried to carry Henschel with him; but Ludwig 
knew more of life than books, and confided 
to me that he would never trust a man or a 
woman with light eyelashes. What children 
we men are! 

Another acquaintance I made on the steam- 
er was a Jew boy from Lemburg, Isaac 
Glueckstein, who had no money and knew 
but little English, yet whose self-confidence 
was in itself no mean stock-in-trade. "In 
five years I shall be rich," was always on the 
tip of his tongue — five years! He never 
looked at a book, but he was always trying 
to talk English with some one or other, and 
at the end of the voyage he could under- 
stand more English than I could, though he 
could not read it at all, whilst I read it with 
ease. . . . When we parted on the wharf he 
drifted out of my life; but I know that he is 
now the famous Newport banker, and fa- 
bulously rich. He had only one ambition, 
and went in blinkers to attain it: desire in 
his case being a forecast of capacity. 

We reached Sandy Hook late one evening, 
and ran up to New York next day. Every- 
thing was hurry and excitement; the cheer- 



io 



The Bomb 



ful tone and bustle made me feel very lone- 
some. When we landed I went to look for 
lodgings with Henschel, who was only too 
glad to have me with him, and, thanks to 
his command of English and the freemasonry 
of his craft, we soon found a room and board 
in a by-street on the east side. Next day 
Henschel and I started to look for work. I 
little thought that I was going gaily to un- 
dreamed-of misery. If I try to recall now 
some of the sufferings of that time, it is be- 
cause my terrible experiences throw light on 
the tragic after-story. Never did any one go 
out to seek work more cheerfully or with 
better resolutions. I had made up my mind 
to work as hard as I could; whatever I was 
given to do, I said to myself, I would do it with 
my might, do it so that no one coming after me 
should do it as well. I had tested this res- 
olution of mine again and again in my school 
life, and had always found it succeed. I had 
won always, even in the Gymnasium, even in 
Prima. Why should not the same resolve 
bring me to the front in the wider competition 
of life? Poor fool that I was. 

On that first morning I was up at five 
o'clock, and kept repeating to myself, over 
and over again as I dressed, the English 
phrases I should have to use in the day, till 
they all came trippingly to my tongue, and 



11 



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when at six o'clock I went out into the air I 
was boyishly excited and eager for the struggle. 
The May morning had all the beauty and 
freshness of youth; the air was warm, yet light 
and quick. I fell in love with the broad, 
sunny streets. The people, too, walked rap- 
idly, the street cars spun past; everything 
was brisk and cheerful; I felt curiously ex- 
hilarated and light-hearted. 

First of all I went to a well-known American 
newspaper office and asked to see the editor. 
After waiting some time I was told curtly 
that the editor was not in. 

"When will he be in?" I questioned. 

"To-night, I guess," replied the janitor, 
"about eleven," with a stare that sized me 
up from the crown of my head to the soles of 
my feet. "If you hev a letter for him, you 
kin leave it." 

"I have no letter," I confessed, shame- 
facedly. 

"Oh, shucks!" he exclaimed, in utter con- 
tempt. What did "shucks" mean? I asked 
myself in vain. In spite of repeated efforts 
I could get no further information from this 
Cerberus. At last, tired of my importunity, 
he slammed the window in my face, with — 

"Ah, go scratch your head, Dutchy." 

The fool angered me; besides, why should 
he take pleasure in rudeness? It flattered 



12 



The Bomb 



his vanity, I suppose, to be able to treat 
another man with contempt. 

I was a little cast down by this first rebuff, 
and when I went again into the streets I 
found the sun hotter than I had ever known 
it; but I trudged off to a German paper I 
had heard of, and asked again to see the 
editor. The man at the door was plainly 
a German, so I spoke German to him. He 
answered with a South German accent strong 
enough to skate on — 

"Can't you speak United States?" 

"Yes," I said, and repeated my question 
carefully in American. 

"No, he ain't in," was the reply; "and I 
guess ven he comes in, he von't vant to see 
you." The tone was worse than the words. 

I received several similar rebuffs that first 
morning, and before noon my stock of courage 
or impudence was nearly exhausted. No- 
where the slightest sympathy, the smallest 
desire to help: on all sides contempt for my 
pretensions, delight in my discomfiture. 

I went back to the boarding-house more 
weary than if I had done three days' work. 
The midday meal, however, cheered me up 
a little; my resolution came back to me and, 
in spite of the temptation to stay and talk 
with the other lodgers, I retired to my room 
and began to study. Henschel had not re- 



13 



The Bomb 



turned for dinner, so I hoped that he had 
found work. However that might be, it was 
my business to learn English as quickly as 
possible, so I set myself to the task, and mem- 
orized through the swooning heat doggedly 
till six o'clock, when I went downstairs for 
tea. Our German schools may not be very 
good; but at least they teach one how to learn 
languages. 

After supper, as it was called, I returned 
to my room, which was still like an oven, and 
studied in my shirt-sleeves at the open win- 
dow till nearly midnight, when Henschel 
burst in with the news that he had got work 
in a great restaurant, and had wonderful 
prospects. I did not grudge him his good 
luck, but the contrast seemed to make my 
forlorn state more miserable. I told him 
how I had been received; but he had no 
counsel to give, no hope; he was lost in his 
own good fortune. He had taken ten dollars 
in tips. It all went into the "tronk" he told 
me, or common stock, and the waiters and 
head-waiters shared it at the end of the week, 
according to a fixed ratio. He would cer- 
tainly earn, he calculated, between forty and 
fifty dollars a week. The thought that I, 
who had spent seven years in study, could not 
get anything at all to do was not pleasant. 

When he left me I went to bed; but I tossed 



14 



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about a long time, unable to sleep. It seemed 
to me that it would have been better for 
me if I had been taught any trade or handi- 
craft, instead of being given an education 
which no one appeared to want. I found 
out afterwards that had I been trained as a 
bricklayer, or carpenter, or plumber, or house 
painter, I should probably have got work, as 
Henschel got it, as soon as I reached New 
York. The educated man without money 
or a profession is not much thought of in 
America. 

Next day I got up and went to look for work 
as before, with just as little success, and so 
the hunt continued for six or seven days, till 
my first week had come to an end, and I had 
to pay another week's board — five dollars — 
out of my scanty stock of forty-five. Eight 
more weeks, I said to myself, and then — ? 
Fear came to me, humiliating fear, and gnaw- 
ed at my self-esteem. 

The second week passed like the first. At 
the end of it, however, Henschel had a Sun- 
day morning off, and took me with him on 
the steamer to Jersey City; we had a great 
talk. I told him what I had done, and how 
hard I had tried to get work — all in vain. He 
assured me he would keep his eyes and ears 
open and as soon as he came across a writer 
or an editor he would speak for me to him 



15 



The Bomb 



and let me know. With this small crumb of 
comfort I was fain to be content. But the 
outing and rest had given me fresh courage, 
and when we came back I told Henschel that 
as I had exhausted all the newspaper offices, 
I would try next day to get work on the eleva- 
ted railways, or on the street-car lines, or in 
some German house where English was spoken. 
Another week or two fleeted by. I had 
been in hundreds of offices and met nothing 
but refusals, and generally rude refusals. I 
had called at every tram centre, visited every 
railroad depot — in vain. And now there were 
only thirty dollars in my purse. Fear of the 
future began to turn into sour rage in me, and 
infect my blood. Strangely enough, a little 
talk I had with Glueckstein on board the ship 
often came back to me. I asked him one 
morning how he intended to begin to get rich. 
"Get into a big office," he said. 

"But how — where?" I asked. 

"Go about and ask," he replied. "There 
is some office in New York wants me as badly 
as I want it, and I'm going to find it." 

This speech stuck in my memory and 
strengthened my determination to persevere 
at all costs. 

One fact I noted which is a little difficult 
to explain. I learned more English in the 
three or four weeks I spent looking for work 



16 



The B 



Oilh 



in New York than in all the months, or in- 
deed years, I had studied it. Memory seemed 
to receive impressions more deeply as the 
tension of anxiety increased. I spoke quite 
fluently at the end of the first month, though 
no doubt with a German accent. I had 
already read a good many novels, too, of 
Thackeray and others, and half a dozen of 
Shakespeare's plays. 

Week after week slipped past; my little 
stock of dollar bills dwindled away; at length 
I was at the end of my poor capital, and as 
far from work as ever. I shall never be able 
to give an idea of what I suffered in disappoint- 
ment and sheer misery. Fortunately for my 
reason the humiliations filled me with rage, 
and this rage and fear fermented in me into 
bitterness which bred all-hating thoughts. 
When I saw rich men entering a restaurant, 
or driving in Central Park, I grew murderous. 
They wasted in a minute as much as I asked 
for a week's work. The most galling re- 
flection was that no one wanted me or my 
labour. "Even the horses are all employed," 
I said to myself, "and thousands of men who 
are much better working animals than any 
horse are left utterly unused. What waste!" 
One conclusion settled itself in me; there 
was something rotten in a society which left 
good brains and willing hands without work. 



17 



The Bomb 



I made up my mind to pawn a silver watch 
my father had given me when we parted, and 
with what I got for the watch I paid my week's 
board. The week passed, and still I had no 
work, and now I had nothing to pawn. I 
knew from having talked to the boarding- 
house keeper that credit was not to be looked 
for. "Pay or get out" was the motto always 
on his lips. Pay! Would they take blood? 

I was getting desperate. Hate and rage 
seethed in me. I was ready for anything. 
This is the way, I said to myself, society 
makes criminals. But I did not even know 
how to commit a crime, nor where to turn, 
and when Henschel came home I asked him 
if I could get a job as waiter. 

"But you are not a waiter." 

"Can't anybody be a waiter?" I asked in 
amaze. 

"No, indeed," he replied quite indignantly. 
"If you had a table of six people, and each of 
them ordered a different soup, and three of 
them ordered one sort of fish, and the three 
others, three different sorts of fish, and so on, 
you would not remember what had been order- 
ed, and could not transmit the order to the 
kitchen. Believe me, it takes a good deal of 
practice and memory to wait well. One 
must have brains to be a waiter. Do you 
think you could carry six soup plates full of 



18 



The Bomb 



soup, on a tray, into a room, high above your 
head, with other waiters running against you, 
without spilling a drop ?" 

The argument was unanswerable: "One 
must have brains to be a waiter!" 

"But couldn't I be an assistant?" I per- 
sisted. 

"Then you would only get seven or eight 
dollars a week," he replied; "and even an 
assistant, as a rule, knows the waiter's work, 
though he perhaps doesn't know American." 

The cloud of depression deepened; every 
avenue seemed closed to me. Yet I must do 
something, I had no money, not a dollar. 
What could I do ? I must borrow from Hen- 
schel. My cheeks burned. I had always 
looked on him, good fellow though he was, as 
an inferior, and now — yet it had to be done. 
There was no other way. I resented having 
to do it. In spite of myself, I bore a certain 
ill-will to Henschel and his superior position, 
as if he had been responsible for my humilia- 
tion. What brutes we men are. I only asked 
him for five dollars, just enough to pay my 
week's board. He lent them willingly enough; 
but he did not like being asked, I thought. 
It may have been my wounded sensibility; 
but I grew hot with shame at having to take 
his money. I determined that next day I 
would get work, work of any kind, and I 



U) 



The Bomb 



would go into the streets to get it. I scarcely 
slept an hour that long hot night; rage shook 
me again and again, and I got up and paced 
my den like a beast. 

In the morning I put on my worst clothes, 
and went down to the docks and asked for 
work. Strange to say, my accent passed un- 
noticed, and stranger still, I found here some 
of the sympathy and kindness which I had 
looked for in vain before. The rough labour- 
ers at the docks — Irishmen, or Norwegians, 
or coloured men — were willing to give me 
any assistance they could. They showed me 
where to go and ask for work; told me what 
the boss was like, the best time and way to 
approach him. On every hand now I found 
human sympathy; but for days and days no 
work. How far did I fall? That week I 
learned enough to know that I could pawn 
my Sunday suit. I got fifteen dollars on it; 
paid my bill, paid Henschel, too, and went 
straight to a workman's lodging-house, where 
I could board for three dollars a week. Hen- 
schel begged me to stay on with him, said he 
would help me; but the stomach of my pride 
would not stand his charity, so I gave him 
my address, in case he heard of anything to 
suit me, and went down — to the lowest level 
of decent working life. 

The lodging-house at first seemed to me a 



20 



The Ho ml) 



foul place. It was a low tenement house let 
off in single rooms to foreign workmen. You 
could get your meals in it or cook your own 
food in your room, whichever you liked. 
The dining-room would hold about thirty 
people comfortably; but after supper, which 
lasted from seven till nine, it was filled with 
perhaps sixty men, smoking and talking at 
intervals, in a dozen different tongues till ten 
or eleven o'clock. For the most part they 
were day-labourers, untidy, dirty, shiftless; 
but they showed me how to get casual light 
labour at docks and offices and restaurants — 
the myriad chance- jobs of a great city. Here 
I lived for months, spending perhaps three 
days in getting a job which perhaps only em- 
ployed me for a few hours, then again finding 
work which lasted three or four days. 

At first I suffered intensely from shame 
and a sense of undeserved degradation. 
How had I fallen so low ? I must be to blame 
in some way. Wounded vanity frayed my 
nerves threadbare and intensified the discom- 
fort of my surroundings. Then came a 
period in which I accepted my fate, and took 
everything as it came, sullenly. Usually I 
earned enough each week to keep me a week 
and a half or two weeks; but in mid-winter 
I had three or four spells of bad luck, when I 
fell even below the lodging-house to the bed 



21 



The Bomb 



for a night, hunger and hopeless misery. 

It is much harder to get employment in the 
depth of winter than in any other season. It 
would really seem as if nature came to aid 
man in crushing and demoralizing the poor. 
You will say that this only applies to special 
trades; but take the statistics of the unem- 
ployed, and you will find them highest in mid- 
winter. I had never experienced anything 
like the cold in New York, the awful blizzards; 
the clear nights when the thermometer fell 
to ten and fifteen degrees below zero, and the 
cold seemed to pierce one with a hundred icy 
blades — life threatened at every point by 
nature and man more brutal-callous than ever. 

I had youth on my side, and pride, and no 
vices which cost money, or I should have gone 
under in that bitter purgatory. More than 
once I walked the streets all night long, stupe- 
fied, dazed with cold and hunger; more than 
once the charity of some woman or workman 
called me back to life and hope. It is only 
the poor who really help the poor. I have 
been down in the depths, and have brought 
back scarcely anything more certain than 
that. One does not learn much in hell, ex- 
cept hate, and the out-of-work foreigner in 
New York is in the worst hell known to man. 

But even that hell of cold gloom and lonely 
misery was irradiated now and then by rays of 



22 



The Bomb 



pure human sympathy and kindness. How well 
I remember instance after instance of this. 
Whenever I sank to utter destitution I used 
at first to frequent the Battery: the swirling 
waters seemed to draw me, lulling my pain 
with their unceasing threnody. There I paced 
up and down for hours or swung my arms to 
keep warm, and was often glad that the numb- 
ing cold forced me to run about, for some- 
how or other one's thoughts are not so bitter 
when one moves briskly as they are when 
sitting still. One night, however, I was tired 
out, and sat in the corner of one of the 
benches. I must have slept, for I was awakened 
by an Irish policeman — 

"Come now, get a move on ye; ye can't 
slape here, ye know." 

I got up, but could hardly stir, I was so 
numbed with cold, and still half asleep. 

"Get on, get on," said the policeman, 
shoving me. 

"How dare ye push the man!" cried a husky 
woman's voice; "he ain't hurtin' the ould 
sate, anyway." 

It was one of the prostitutes, Irish Betsy 
they called her, who regarded that part of 
the Battery as her own particular preserve 
and kept it sacred by a perfect readiness to 
fight for it, though its value must have been 
very small. 



23 



The Bomb 



The policeman took her interference un- 
kindly, and in consequence got the rough 
edge of Betsy's tongue. As soon as I could 
speak I begged her not to quarrel for me; I 
would go; and I walked away. Betsy follow- 
ed and overtook me in a little while, and 
pushed a dollar bill into my hand. 

"I can't take money," I said, handing her 
the bill back. 

"And why not?" she asked hotly; "you 
nade it more than me, an' when I want it 
some night I'll ask it back from ye, the divil 
doubt me! It's loanin' it to ye, I am!" 

Poor, dear Betsy! she had the genius of 
kindness in her, and afterwards, when times 
went better with me, I took her to supper as 
often as I could, and so learned her whole sad 
story. Love was her sin, love only, and like 
all other generous mistakes, though it brought 
punishment and contempt of others, it did not 
bring self-contempt. Betsy regarded herself 
as one of the innocent victims of life, and she 
was probably justified in this, for she kept 
her goodness of heart all through. 

Another scene: I had gone to one place for 
three or four nights, where I got a bed for ten 
cents, and as I shivered out into the cold one 
morning about five-thirty, the hard Yankee 
who kept the place suddenly asked me — 

"Have you had any breakfast?" 



The Ho m.b 



"What's that to you?" 

"Not much; but my cawfee's hot, and if 
you'll have a cup, you're welcome." 

The tone was careless-rough, but the glance 
that went with it thawed the ice about my 
heart, and I followed him into his little den. 
He poured out the coffee and put a steaming 
cup of it and some bacon and biscuits before 
me, and in ten minutes I was a man again, 
with a man's heart in me and a man's hope 
and energy. 

"Do you often give breakfast away like 
this ?" I asked him, smiling. 

"Sometimes," was the answer. I thanked 
him for his kindness, and was on the point 
of going, when he added, without even look- 
ing at me — 

"If you haven't got work by to-night you 
can come here and sleep without the dime, 
see!" I looked at him in astonishment, and 
he went on as if trying to excuse a weakness: 
"When a man gets up and goes out before 
six this weather, he wants work, and whoever 
wants work's sure to find it sooner or later. 
I like to help a man," he added emphatically. 

I got to know Jake Ramsden well in a few 
weeks; he was harsh and silent like his native 
Maine hills, but kindly at heart. 

How I lived through the seven months of 
that awful winter I can't tell; but I worried 



25 



The Bomb 



through somehow, and as the spring came on 
I even gathered a few dollars and went back 
to my old lodging-house, where I boarded 
for three dollars a week, and could wash and 
make myself decent. I had come to look up- 
on it as a sort of luxurious hotel. That win- 
ter taught me many things, and, above all, 
this, that however unfortunate a man is there 
are others worse off and more unhappy: the 
misery of mankind is as infinite as the sea. 
And from this one learns sympathy and 
courage. I suppose on the whole the ex- 
periences did me more good than harm, though 
at the moment I was inclined to believe that 
they had simply coarsened my mind like the 
skin of my hands, and had roughened me in a 
hundred ways. I see now clearly enough that 
whatever I am or have been, I was made by 
that winter: for good and for evil I shall bear 
the marks of the struggle and suffering till I 
die. I wish I could believe that all the pain 
I had endured turned into pity for others; 
but there was a residue in me of bitterness. 

Another scene from this period of my life, 
and I'll be able to tell how I came out of the 
abyss to air and sunlight once more. One 
evening in the dining-room an Englishman 
mentioned casually that any one could get 
work on the foundations of the Brooklyn 
Bridge. I could hardly believe my ears; I 



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was still looking for steady employment, 
though scarcely daring to hope for it; but he 
went on: ''They want men, and the pay's 
good: five dollars a day." 

"Steady work?" I asked, in a tremor. 

"Steady enough," he answered, with a 
scrutinizing glance at me, "but few can stick 
it, working in compressed air." It appeared 
that he had tried it and was not able to stand 
it; but that did not deter me. I found out 
from him where to apply, and next morning 
before six o'clock was taken on. I could 
scarcely contain myself for joy: at last I had 
got work; but the Englishman's words the 
night before came back to me: "It's few can 
do a shift, and in three months every one gets 
the 'bends.' A stern joy came into me; if 
others could stand it, I could. 

I suppose every one knows what working 
in a caisson on the bed of a river, fifty feet 
under water, is like. The caisson itself is an 
immense bell-shaped thing of iron; the top of 
it is an apartment called "the material cham- 
ber," through which the stuff dug out of the 
river passes on its way to the air. High up, 
on the side of the caisson is another chamber 
called "the air-lock." The caisson itself is 
filled with compressed air to keep out the 
water which would otherwise fill the caisson 
in an instant. The men going to work in the 



The Bomb 



caisson first of all pass into the air-lock cham- 
ber, where they are "compressed" before 
they go to work, and "decompressed" after 
doing their shift. 

Of course, I had been told what I should 
feel; but when I stepped into the air-lock with 
the other men and the door was shut and one 
little air-cock after another was turned on, let- 
ing in a stream of compressed air from the cais- 
son, I could hardly help yelling — the pain 
stabbed my ears. The drums of the ears are 
of ten forcibly driven in and broken; some men 
not only become deaf, but have the most in- 
tense earache and sympathetic headache, at- 
tended with partial deafness. The only way 
to meet the pressure of the air in the ear, I 
quickly found, was to keep swallowing the 
air and forcing it up the Eustachian tubes in 
to the middle ear, so that this air-pad on the 
internal side of the drum might lessen or pre- 
vent the painful depression of the drum. 
During "compression" the blood keeps ab- 
sorbing the gases of the air till the tension of 
the gases in the blood becomes equal to that 
in the compressed air; when this equilibrium 
has been reached men can work in the cais- 
son for hours without experiencing serious in- 
convenience. 

It took about half an hour to "compress" 
us, and that first half-hour was pretty hard to 



28 



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bear. When the pressure of the air in the 
lock was equal to that in the caisson, the 
door from the caisson into the air-lock open- 
ed by itself or at a touch, and we all went 
down the ladder on to the river bed and began 
our work, digging up the ground and passing 
it by lifts into the material chamber. The 
work itself did not seem very hard; one got 
very hot, but as one worked nearly naked it 
didn't matter much; in fact, I was agreeably 
surprised. The noises were frightful; every 
time I stooped, too, I felt as if my head would 
burst. But the two hours will soon pass, I 
said to myself, and two shifts for five dollars 
is good pay; in fifteen days I shall have saved 
the money I came to New York with, and then 
we shall see; and so I worked on, making 
light of the earache and headache, the dizzi- 
ness and the infernal heat. 

At length the shift came to an end, and one 
by one, streaming with perspiration, we pass- 
ed up again into the air-lock to learn what 
4 'decompression" was like. We closed the 
door; the air-cocks were turned on, letting 
out the compressed air, and at once we began 
to shiver, the ordinary air was so wet and cold. 
It was as if a stream of ice-water had been 
turned into a hot bath. I had noticed when 
we got in that the others began to dress 
hastily; I now knew why. I hauled on my 



29 



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shirt and then my other clothes as quickly as 
i could; but the air grew colder and colder, 
damper and damper, and I began to get weak, 
giddy and sick. I suppose the gases in the 
blood were leaving it as the tension got less. 
At the end of an hour we were "decompressed," 
and we all stepped out shivering, surrounded 
by a wet, yellow fog, chilled to the heart. 

Think of it; we had been working hard for 
two hours in a high temperature, and after our 
work we had this hour of " decompression,' ' 
an hour of rapidly increasing cold and damp 
mist, while even the blood pressure in our 
veins was constantly diminishing. What with 
the " compression" and the "decompression," 
the two hours' shift lasted nearly four hours, 
so that two shifts a day made a very fair 
day's work — and such work! Most of the 
men took a glass of hot spirits the moment 
they got out, and two or three before they 
went home. I drank hot cocoa, and very 
glad I am that I did. It revived me as quick- 
ly as the spirits, I think, and took away the 
terrible feeling of chill and depression. Should 
I be able to stand the work ? I could only 
go on doggedly, and see how continuous work 
affected me. 

I had something to eat, and lay about in 
the sunshine till I got warm and strong again: 
but I had still the earache and headache, and 



30 



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felt dizzy when the time came to go to 
work. 

The afternoon shift seemed interminable, 
dreadful. The compression was not so bad; 
I had learned how to get the air into my ears 
to meet the pressure, though whenever I for- 
got to breathe it in and keep the air-pad full, 
I paid at once with a spasm of acute earache. 
Nor was the work in the caisson unendurable; 
the pace set was not great: the heat comfort- 
ing. But the "decompression" was simply 
dreadful. I was shivering like a rat when it 
was over, my teeth chattering. I could only 
gasp and not speak, and I easily let myself 
be persuaded to take a dram of hot spirits 
like the rest: but I determined that I would 
not begin to drink; I would bring thick, woolen 
under-clothes with me in the morning, all I 
had got. I went home exhausted, and with 
such earache and headache that I found it 
difficult to eat, and impossible to sleep. 

The horror of being unemployed drove me 
to work next day and the next. How I work- 
ed I don't know; but I was recalled to think- 
ing life and momentary forgetfulness of pain 
by seeing a huge Swiss workman fall down 
one morning as if he were trying to tie his 
arms and legs in knots. I never saw any- 
thing so horrible as the poor, twisted, writh- 
ing form of the unconscious giant. Before 



31 



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we could lift him on a mud-barrow and 
carry him away to the hospital he was 
bathed in blood, and looked to me as if 
he were dead. "What is it?" I cried. 
"The bends," said one, and shrugged his 
shoulders. 

We had just come out of the air-lock into 
the room where we kept our clothes and food 
and things, and I began questioning the others 
about "the bends." It appeared that no 
one worked for more than two or three months 
without having an attack. It generally laid 
them up for a fortnight, and they were never 
the same men afterwards. 

"Do the bosses pay us for the fortnight?" 
I asked. 

"You bet!" cried a workman savagely; 
"they keep us at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, 
and pay us fer restin'." 

"Can one only work three months, then?" 
I asked. 

"I have worked more than that," said an- 
other man; "but you have got to take care, 
and not drink. Then I am very thin, and 
can stand it much better than any one inclined 
to be stout like you." 

"They could make it easy enough for us," 
said a third; "everybody knows that if they 
gave us ten thousand feet of fresh air an hour 
in their damned caissons we could stand it all 



32 



The Bomb 



right;* but they only give us a measly thousand 
feet. It isn't men's work they buy at five 
dollars a day, but men's lives, damn them!" 

I noticed then that my mates had the sullen- 
ness of convicts. It was rare that one spoke 
to his fellows; in silence we laboured; in si- 
lence we went to our work, and as soon as 
we came up into God's air and sunlight again, 
each man sought his home in silence. The 
cloud fell on me; I was not so sure as I had 
been at first that I should escape the common 
lot. After all, strong as I was, I was not so 
strong as that young Swiss whom I could still 
see, twisting about on the ground like a snake 
that has been trodden on. However, I de- 
termined not to think, and went to my shifts 
again as if nothing had happened. 

I had been working in compressed air for 
about a fortnight when I saw a dreadful ex- 
ample of man's careless hardihood. A young 
American had been working with us for two 
or three days. This afternoon he wanted 
to get out, he said, without going through the 
"decompression," in order to keep an appoint- 
ment with his girl, so he went up on top of 
the mud lift, into the material chamber and 

* This workman was right. The illness of men working in cais- 
sons, which was formerly over 80 per cent in every three months 
when the air supplied was about 1500 cubic feet an hour, has now 
dropped to 8 per cent since the fresh air supply has been increased 
to 10,000 cubic feet an hour. — Editor's note. 



33 



The Bomb 



so into the open air in perhaps five minutes. 
When we came out, an hour later, after having 
passed through the air-lock, we found him 
stretched on the floor of the waiting-room 
with a doctor by his side. He was unconscious, 
his breathing noisy and difficult, his lips puff- 
ed out, blowing froth. He died in a few 
minutes after we came into the room. It 
seemed dreadful to me; but not so dreadful 
as "the bends." After all, the man knew, or 
ought to have known, that he was running a 
great risk, and death seemed better to me 
than that excruciating physical torture; but 
somehow or other these two occurrences 
sickened me with the work. I determined 
to go on, if I could, till the end of the month, 
and then stop, and that is what I did. 

Before the end of the month I began to feel 
weak and ill: I could not sleep, save by fits 
and starts, and I was practically never free 
from pain; still, I stuck it out for a month, 
and then with a hundred and forty dollars 
saved I took a fortnight's rest. 

I spent every afternoon I could with Hen- 
schel; he had generally three or four hours 
free, and we went across to Jersey City or to 
Hoboken, bathing, or to Long Island, some- 
where in the open air, and sunshine. At the 
end of the fortnight, I felt nearly as fit as ever, 
but I have still earaches and headaches oc- 



34 



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casionally to remind me of the Brooklyn 
Bridge. I did not go back to it; I had done 
my share of underground work, I thought; I 
would not take the risk again. Even the 
engineers, who had no hard manual labour 
to do, and earned four hundred dollars a 
month for merely directing, could not look on 
in that air for more than two hours a day. 
It was the men doing the hardest work who 
were expected to labour for two shifts a day — 
the hardest work, double hours, and smallest 
wage. With the quick rebound of youth, I 
soon consoled myself; after all I had done 
something and earned something, and after 
my fortnight's rest I was about again, as eager 
as ever to find work, but curiously soft after 
my fortnight's lazing. 

A few days later I heard of another job, a 
better one this time, though it was hard work 
and not likely to be permanent. Still, it 
might be a beginning, I told myself, and 
hurried to the place. They were taking up 
a street near the docks to lay a new gas-pipe, 
and the work was being done by an Irish 
contractor. He looked at me shrewdly — 

" Ain't done much work, have you?" 

"Not lately," I replied; "but I will do as much 
as I can, and in a week as much as any man." 

"Will you turn in now for half a day?" he 
asked, "and then we'll talk." 



35 



The Bomb 



It was about nine o'clock in the morning. 
I knew he was cheating me, but I replied, 
" Certainly," and my heart lifted to hope. 
In ten minutes I had a pick in my hand, and 
space to use it. God, the joy of it, steady 
work at last in the open air! Once more I 
was a man, and had a place in the world. 
But the joy did not last long. It was the be- 
ginning of July and furiously hot; I suppose 
I went at the work too hard, for in half an hour 
I was streaming with perspiration; my trou- 
sers were wet through, and my hands pain- 
fully sore; the fortnight's rest had made them 
soft. One of the gang, an oldish man, took 
it upon himself to advise me. He was evi- 
dently Irish; he looked at me with cunning 
grey eyes, and said — 

" You don't need to belt that pick in as if you 
were going to reach Australy. Take it aisy, 
man, and leave some work for us to-morrow." 

The others all laughed. I found the ad- 
vice excellent, and began to copy my fellows, 
using skill and sparing strength. When I 
returned to work after dinner my back felt 
as if it had been broken; but I hung on till 
night, and got a word of modified approval 
from the boss. 

"For the first week I'll give you two dollars 
a day," he grunted; "ye're not worth more 
with thim hands." 



36 



The Bomb 



I could not bargain: I dared not. 

"All right," I said sullenly. 

"Be here at six sharp," he went on; "if 
ye're late five minutes ye'll be docked half-a- 
day; mind that now." 

I nodded my comprehension, and he went 
his way. 

I was very tired as I walked home, but glad, 
glad at heart. I had the satisfaction of feeling 
that I had earned my living for the day, and 
a bit over, with pick and shovel, and surely 
there was enough work of that sort to be done 
in America. In youth one is an optimist and 
finds it hard to nurse bitterness; it is so much 
easier to hope than to hate. One week's 
work, I calculated, would keep me for three 
or four weeks, and this fact held in it a world 
of satisfaction. 

I had a great evening meal that night, and 
drank innumerable cups of so-called coffee, 
and then went to bed and slept from about 
seven till five next morning, when I awoke 
feeling very well indeed, though horribly, 
painfully stiff. That would soon wear off, I 
told myself; but the worst of it was that my 
hands were in a shocking state; blisters had 
formed all over them and here and there had 
broken, and I could not use them without 
pain. The next day's work was excruciating, 
and my hands were bleeding freely before 



37 



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noon; but the old Irishman in the dinner hour 
bathed them with whiskey, which certainly 
dried up the wounds. I felt as if he had 
poured liquid fire over them, and the smart 
held throughout the afternoon. For the next 
three or four days the work was very painful; 
my hands seemed to get worse rather than 
better; but when they became so sore that I 
had to change tools as often as I possibly 
could, they began to mend, and by the end of 
the week I could do my day's stunt without 
pain or fatigue worth mentioning. 

The job lasted three weeks, and when it 
was over the boss gave me his address in 
Brooklyn and told me if I wanted work he 
would give it me. I was the only man he 
picked out in this way. My heart rose again. 
I thanked him. After all, I said to myself 
as I went home, it's worth while doing a bit 
more than other men; one gets work easier. 

My new job was road-making, and I was 
only one of a hundred men employed. At 
the end of a few weeks the boss said to me 
suddenly — 

"Shure, you ought to be ashamed to work 
wid your hands, and you an edjicated man! 
Why don't you take a sub-contract?" 

"How can I get a sub-contract?" I asked. 

"I'll give you one," said he. "See here 
now; I get five dollars a yard for this road, 






38 



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and the stone found me; if you want to take 
fifty yards or a hundred yards I'll give them 
to yez at four dollars a yard ; a man must make 
a little on a contract/ ' he added cunningly, 
''and your profit'll be big." 

I was very grateful to him, I remember, 
just as grateful as if he had been trying to do 
me a kindness, which was certainly not the 
case. 

"But how am I to pay men ?" I asked. 

"That's your business," he replied indiffer- 
ently. I hesitated a little, but next day I 
contracted to take a hundred yards and went 
to work to find labourers. Strange to say it 
was hard to get men; I could only find casuals 
— here to-day and gone to-morrow — and they 
were anything but energetic. I made up 
for their laziness by working double hours, 
and by the end of the week I had got five or 
six fairly good men working for me. After 
I had completed the first fifty yards of work 
I was astounded at my profit. I had to pay 
about a hundred dollars for labour, and had 
a hundred dollars for myself. 

Naturally I wanted as much of this work 
as I could get, and the boss let me have two 
hundred yards more; but now I had worse 
luck. It was the end of October, and we had 
heavy rains, then it froze hard and snow fell. 
I soon found that I should have to drive the 



39 



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men or scamp the work, or be content with 
little or no profit. I hardly made as much 
over the next two hundred yards as I had 
made over the first fifty. Still, my month's 
work had yielded over a hundred dollars net 
profit, and with that I was content. 

One day, talking with the old Irishman who 
had worked with me on my first job, and who 
was now working for me, I happened to say 
that if the frost held I should lose money. 

" Hwat's that ye say ?" he asked suspiciously. 

"It costs me four dollars a yard, now," I 
explained ruefully. 

"An* you gettin' six an' sivin," he retorted 
with derision. 

"Four," I corrected. 

"Thin you've bin chated," he concluded; 
"the ould un's gettin' eight." 

I thought he was simply talking loosely, 
and paid no further attention to him. Still 
I tried to get a little better contract out of the 
boss; I failed, however, completely; it was 
four dollars a yard, take it or leave it, with 
him. 

I took another two hundred yards at this 
price; but now luck ran dead against me. 
It froze all through that wretched December 
and January, froze hard, and when we tore 
up the road to lay the stones one day, we had 
to do the work all over again the next day. 



40 



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At the end of the month's work I had lost fifty 
dollars, though I myself had worked sixteen 
hours a day. I remonstrated with the boss, 
told him it was not good enough to keep on 
at such a rate; but he would not let me have 
a cent more than my contract price, and swore 
by all his gods that he was only getting five 
dollars himself, and could not afford to allow 
me a cent more for the weather. "We have 
all to take the scats with the good spuds," 
he said. 

Now that I knew exactly what the work cost, 
I could not believe him, so I took a day off 
and went with the old Irishman to find out 
if he was telling the truth. A few drinks in 
an Irish saloon, a talk with a captain of Tam- 
many, and I soon discovered that the con- 
tract was given to the boss at ten dollars a 
yard; ten, though it could have been done 
profitably for five. I found out more even than 
that. My boss had sent in a claim for extra 
money because of the bad weather, and had 
been allowed three dollars a yard on the work 
I had done in the last two months. Then 
I understood clearly how men get rich. Here 
was an uneducated Irishman making ten 
thousand dollars a year out of the city con- 
tract. True, he had to give something to the 
Tammany officials in bribes, but he always 
"made a poor mouth," as they said, pretend- 



41 



The Bomb 



ing to be hard up, and in the year, I am cer- 
tain, never disbursed more than five hundred 
dollars in palm oil. 

I found all this out in one forenoon. I 
thanked the old Irish labourer, and treated 
him, and then went off to call on Henschel 
and spend the afternoon with him. He, too, 
wanted to see me. He had got to know the 
editor of the "Vorwaerts," he told me, the 
Socialist paper in New York, and he asked 
me to go up and see Dr. Goldschmidt, the 
editor. 

I was in the right humour. I could not 
bear to think of going on working for that 
swindling Irish contractor; nor could I make 
up my mind to take the advice of the old 
Irishman, who said, "Now you have the 
truth, force the swindling old baste to give 
you sivin dollars a yard, or threaten him wid 
the papers you'll write to; that'll frighten him." 

I didn't want to frighten the boss, nor 
would I take any part in his thieving. I 
merely wished to be quit of him and to forget 
the whole sordid story. After all, I had two 
or three hundred dollars behind me now, and 
my experiences cried to be given form and to 
be set out in print. 

I went with Henschel to see Dr. Gold- 
schmidt, and found him to be a pleasant man, 
a Jew, of good education, and with a certain 



42 



The Bomb 



kindliness in him that attracted me. He 
asked me what I proposed to write about. I 
said I could give my experiences as an out- 
of-work or as a day-labourer with pick and 
shovel, or I could write on the Socialism of 
Plato. I had had this subject in mind when 
I first visited the newspaper offices months 
before. Now Plato and his Republic sounded 
ridiculous in my ears; I had fresher fish to 
fry. Goldschmidt was evidently of the same 
opinion; for he laughed at the suggestion of 
Plato, and as he laughed, it suddenly became 
clear to me that I had gone a long way in 
thought during my year in New York. All 
at once I realized that my experiences as an 
emigrant had made a man of me; that those 
twelve or fifteen months of fruitless striving 
to get work had turned me into a reformer 
if not yet into a rebel. 

" Let me write on what I have gone through/' 
I said finally to Goldschmidt. "After all, 
the pick and shovel are as interesting as 
sword and hauberk, and the old knights who 
went forth to fight dragons had nothing to 
meet so fearful as compressed air." 

" Compressed air ?" he caught me up. " What 
do you mean? Tell me about that." 

He had certainly the journalist scent for a 
novelty and sensation, so I told him my story; 
but I could not talk merely about my work in 



43 



The Bomb 



the caissons. I told him nearly everything 
I have set down here, and, worst of all, I gave 
him the lessons first, and not the incidents, in 
my serious German way ; told him that manual 
work is so hard, so exhausting in the Ameri- 
can climate, that it turns one into a soulless 
brute. One is too tired at night to think, or 
even take any interest in what is going on in 
the world. The workman who reads an 
evening paper is rare. The Sunday paper 
is his only mental food ; on week days he labours 
and eats and then turns in. The conditions of 
manual labour in the States are breeding a pro- 
letariat ready for revolt. Every man needs 
some rest in life, some hours of en j oy ment . B ut 
the labourer has no time for recreation. He 
dare not take a day's respite; for if he does 
he may lose his job, and probably have more 
leisure than he wants. 

My view of the position seemed to strike 
the doctor as interesting; but my experiences 
in the caissons clinched the matter. 

" Write all the out-of-work part," he said, 
"and end up with your days in the caisson. 
I know something about that job. The con- 
tractors are to get sixty million dollars for it, 
and I suppose it'll not cost twenty; but I'll 
look it all out and back your story up with 
some hard facts." 

"But does any one make two hundred per 



44 



The Bomb 



cent on a contract ?" I asked, forgetting for 
the moment my Irish boss who wanted at 
least a twofold profit and as much more as he 
could get by lying. 

"Certainly," replied Goldschmidt. "There 
are only a few competitors, if any, for a big 
job, and the two or three men who are willing 
and able to take it on, are apt to open their 
mouths pretty wide." 

Bit by bit, it was being forced in on me 
that our competitive system is an organized 
swindle. 

I went off determined to write a telling 
series of articles. While talking to Gold- 
schmidt I had made up my mind not to go 
back to the road-making; it was all brainless, 
uninteresting, stupefying to me, and the cor- 
ruption in it horribly distasteful. An hour's 
talk with an educated man had turned me 
against it forever. I hated even to meet that 
lying boss again. I would not meet him. I 
ached to get back to my books and clean 
clothes and studious habits of life. 

I took rooms up town, but on the east side, 
very simple rooms, which cost me, with break- 
fast and tea, about ten dollars a week, and 
went to work with my pen. I soon found that 
labour with the pick and shovel in the bitter 
weather had made it almost impossible for me 
to use the pen at all. My brain seemed tired, 



45 



The Bomb 



words came slowly, and I soon grew sleepy. 
Thinking, too, is a function that needs exer- 
cise, or it becomes rusty. But in a week or 
two I wrote more freely, and in a month had 
finished a series of German articles embody- 
ing my experiences as a "tenderfoot," and 
sent them to Goldschmidt. He liked them, 
said they were excellent, and gave me a hun- 
dred dollars for them. When I received his 
letter I felt that at long last I had come into 
my own and found my proper work. The 
articles made a sort of sensation, and I got 
two hundred dollars more for them in book 
form. For the next three or four months it 
was easy enough by going about New York 
and keeping my eyes open to get subjects for 
two or three articles a week. I didn't earn 
much by them, it is true; but, after my ex- 
periences, twenty to twenty-five dollars a 
week were more than enough for all my needs. 

Moreover, I felt that I had solved the prob- 
lem. I could always earn a living now one 
way or another by pick and shovel, if not by 
pen. I was to that extent at least master of 
my fate. 

One day going into the office of the "Vor- 
waerts," whom should I run across butRaben. 
Of course we adjourned immediately to a 
German restaurant near by, and ordered a 
German lunch, and many Seidels of German 



46 



The Bomb 



beer. He had been working steadily, it 
appeared, ever since he left the ship, but at 
low rates. He wanted to go to Chicago, he 
told me, where the pay was better, only he 
had a wonder of a girl whom he could not 
bear to leave. She was a perfect peach, he 
added, and I noticed for the first time that 
his lips were sensual, thick. 

While he was speaking it came to me that 
I should like to go West, too, and break fresh 
ground. Those accursed months when I 
tried vainly to get work had left in me a dis- 
like of New York. Deep down in me there 
was a fund of resentment and bitterness. 

"I should like to go to Chicago," I said to 
Raben. "Could you give me an introduction 
to any one?" 

"Sure," he said, "to August Spies, the 
owner and editor of the 'Arbeiter Zeitung.' 
He is a first-rate fellow, a Saxon, too, a Dres- 
dener. He would be sure to take you. All 
you South Germans hang together." 

I called for pen and paper, and got him to 
write me a letter of introduction to Spies then 
and there. 

The same evening, I think, I went to see 
Dr. Goldschmidt, and asked him if I might 
write him a weekly letter from Chicago, about 
labour matters, and he arranged that he 
would take one a week from me, at ten dol- 



47 



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lars a letter; but he told me that I must make 
it a good two columns — two or three thousand 
words for ten dollars — the pay was not high; 
but it ensured me against poverty, and that 
was the main thing. On the morrow I packed 
my little trunk, and started for Chicago . . . 



48 



Chapter II 



HHHE long train journey and the great 
-*• land spaces seemed to push my New 
York life into the background. I had been 
in America considerably over a year. I had 
gone to New York a raw youth, filled with 
vague hopes and unlimited ambitions; I 
was leaving it a man, who knew what he could 
do, if he did not know yet what he wanted. 
By the by, what did I want? A little easier 
life and larger pay — that would come, I felt 
— and what else ? I had noticed going about 
the streets of New York that the women and 
girls were prettier, daintier, better gowned 
than any I had been accustomed to see in 
Germany. Many of them, too, were dark, 
and dark eyes drew me irresistibly. They 
seemed proud and reserved, and didn't appear 
to notice me, and, strange to say, that attracted 
me as much as anything. Now that the 
struggle for existence left me a little breathing 
space, I would try, I said to myself, to get to 
know some pretty girl, and make up to her. 
How is it, I wonder, that life always gives you 
your heart's desire? You may fashion your 
ideal to your fancy; ask for what eyes and 



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skin and figure you like; if you have only a 
little patience, life will bring your beauty to the 
meeting. All our prayers are granted in this 
world; that is one of the tragedies of life. 
But I did not know that at the time. I simply 
said to myself that now I could speak Ameri- 
can fluently, I would make love to some pretty 
girl, and win her. Of course I had to find 
out, too, all about the conditions of labour in 
Chicago, for that was what Goldschmidt 
wanted in my weekly articles, and I must 
learn to speak and write American perfectly. 
Already in my thoughts I had begun to call 
myself an American, so strongly did the great 
land with its careless freedom and rude 
equality attract me. There was power in 
the mere name, and distinction as well. I 
would become an American, and — my thoughts 
returned on themselves — and a girl's face 
fashioned itself before my eyes, dainty-dark, 
provocative, wilful. . . . 

My year's work in the open air had made 
me steel-strong. I was strung tense now 
with the mere thought of a kiss, of an embrace. 
I looked down and took stock of myself. I 
was roughly, but not badly dressed; just above 
the middle height, five feet nine or so; strongly 
built, with broad shoulders; my hair was fair, 
eyes blue, a small moustache was just begin- 
ning to show itself as golden down. She 



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would love me, too; she . . . the blood in me 
grew hot; my temples throbbed. I rose and 
walked through the car to throw off my emo- 
tion; but I walked on air, glancing at every 
woman as I passed. I had to read to compose 
myself, and even then her face kept coming 
between me and the printed page. 

I reached Chicago late in the evening, after 
a forty hours' journey. I was not tired, and 
in order to save expense I went at once in 
search of Spies, after leaving my baggage 
at the depot. I found him at the office of 
the "Arbeiter Zeitung." The office was much 
smaller and meaner than Dr. Goldschmidt's; 
but Spies made an excellent impression on 
me. He was physically a fine, well set up 
fellow, a little taller than I was, though per- 
haps not very strong. He was well educated, 
and spoke English almost as fluently as his 
mother tongue, though with a slight German 
accent. His face was attractive; he had 
thick, curly brown hair, dark blue eyes, and 
long moustaches; he wore a pointed beard, too, 
which seemed to accentuate the thin triangle 
of his face. I found out, bit by bit, that he 
was very emotional and sentimental. His 
chin was round and soft, like a girl's. His 
actions were always dictated by his feelings 
at the moment. He met me with a frank 
kindliness which was charming; said that he 



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had read my articles in " Vorwaerts," and 
hoped I would do some work for him. "We 
are not rich,'' he said, "but I can pay you 
something, and you must grow up with the 
paper," and he laughed. 

He proposed that we should go out and sup ; 
but when I told him I wanted lodgings he 
exclaimed: "That fits exactly. There is a 
Socialist, George Engel, who keeps a toyshop 
between here and the station. He told me he 
wanted a lodger. He has two good rooms, I 
believe, and I am sure you'll like him. Sup- 
pose we go and see him." I assented, and we 
set off, my companion talking the while with 
engaging frankness of his own plans and 
hopes. As soon as I saw Engel I knew we 
should get on together. He had a round, 
heavy, goodnatured face; he was perhaps 
forty-five or fifty years of age; his brown hair 
was getting thin on top. He showed me the 
rooms, which were clean and quiet. He was 
evidently delighted to talk German, and pro- 
posed to take my checks and bring my baggage 
from the depot, and thus leave me free. I 
thanked him in our Bavarian dialect, and his 
eyes filled with tears. 

"Ach du liebster Junge!" he cried, and 
shook me by both hands. I felt I had won 
a friend, and turning to Spies said, "Now 
we can sup together." 



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Though it was getting late, he took me off 
at once to a German restaurant, where we had 
a good meal. Spies was an excellent compan- 
ion; he talked well, was indeed, on occasion, 
both interesting and persuasive. Besides, he 
knew the circumstances of the foreign workers 
in Chicago better than perhaps any one. He 
had genuine pity, too, for their wants and faults, 
sincere sympathy with their sufferings. 

"Whether they come from Norway or 
Germany or South Russia," he told me ; 
"they are cheated for the first two or three 
years by every one. In fact, till they learn 
to speak American freely they are mere prey. 
I want to start a sort of Labour Bureau for 
them, in which they can get information in 
their mother tongue on all subjects that con- 
cern them. It is their own ignorance which 
makes them slaves — pigeons to be plucked." 

"Is the life very hard?" I asked. 

"In winter dreadfully hard," he replied. 
"About thirty-five per cent of working men 
are always out of employment; that entails 
a sediment of misery, and our winters here are 
terrible. . . . 

"There are some dreadfully unfortunate 
cases. We had a woman last week who 
came to our meeting to ask for help. She 
had three young children. Her husband had 
been employed in Thompson's cheap jewel- 



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lery manufactory. He earned good wages, 
and they were happy. One day the fan broke 
and he breathed the fumes of nitric acid. He 
went home complaining of a dry throat and 
cough; seemed to get better in the night. 
Next morning was worse; began to spit thin, 
yellow stuff. The wife called in a doctor. 
He prescribed oxygen to breathe. That night 
the man died. We got up a subscription for 
her, and I went to see the doctor. He told 
me the man had died of breathing nitrous 
acid fumes; it always causes congestion of the 
lungs, and is always fatal within forty-eight 
hours. There the wife is now, destitute, 
with three children to feed, and all because 
the law does not compel the employer to put 
up a proper fan. Life's brutal to the poor. . . . 

"Besides, American employers discharge 
men ruthlessly, and the police and magistrates 
are all against us foreigners. They are 
getting worse and worse, too. I don't know 
where it'll all end," and he went silent for a 
time. "Of course you're a Socialist," he 
resumed, "and will come to our meetings, and 
join our Verein." 

"I don't know that you would call me a 
Socialist," I replied; "but my sympathies 
are with the workmen. I'd like to come to 
your meetings." 

Before we parted he had taken me round, 



54 



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and shown me the lecture-room, which was 
quite close to his newspaper office, and given 
me a little circular about the meetings for the 
month. He left me finally at EngePs door, 
with the hope that we might meet again soon. 

It must have been nearly midnight when I 
got into the house. Engel was waiting up 
for me, and we had a long talk in our homely 
Bavarian dialect. I told him it was my rule 
never to speak German; but I could not resist 
the language of my boyhood. Engel, too, 
had read my articles in " Vorwaerts," and was 
delighted with them; he was entirely self- 
taught, but not without a certain shrewdness 
in judging men; a saving, careful soul, with 
an immense fund of pure human kindness at 
the heart of him — a clear pool of love. We 
parted great friends, and I went to bed full 
of hope and had an excellent night. 

Next morning I went about looking at 
Chicago; then I paid a visit to the "Arbeiter 
Zeitung" for some statistics which I wanted 
for my New York article, and so the day 
drifted by. 

I had been in Chicago a week when I went 
to the first of the Socialist meetings. The 
building was a mere wooden shanty at the 
back of some brick buildings. The room was 
a fairly large one, would seat perhaps two 
hundred and fifty people; it looked bare and 



55 



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was simply furnished with wooden benches 
and a low platform on which stood a desk and 
a dozen plain chairs. Fortunately the weather 
was very pleasant, and we could sit with open 
windows; it was about mid-September, if I 
remember rightly. The speakers could hold 
forth, too, without being overheard, which 
was perhaps an advantage. 

The first speaker rather amused me. He 
was presented by Spies as Herr Fischer, and 
he spoke a sort of German- American jargon 
that was almost incomprehensible. His ideas, 
too, were as inchoate as his speech. He be- 
lieved, apparently, that the rich were rich 
simply because they had seized on the land, 
and on what he called "the instruments of 
production," which enabled them to grind 
the faces of the poor. He had evidently read 
"Das Kapital" of Marx, and little or nothing 
more. He did not even understand the energy 
generated by the open competition of life. 
He was a sort of half-baked student of Euro- 
pean Communism, with an intense hatred of 
those whom he called "the robber rich." 

Fischer probably felt that he was not carry- 
ing his audience with him, for he suddenly 
left off his sweeping denunciations of the 
wealthy, and began to deal with the action of 
the police in Chicago. In handling the actual 
he was a different man. He told us how the 



56 



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police had begun by dispersing meetings in 
the streets under the pretext that they inter- 
fered with the traffic; how they went on to 
break up meetings held on lots of waste ground. 
At first, too, the police were content, he said, 
to hustle the speaker from his improvised plat- 
form, and quietly induce the crowd to move 
on and break up; lately they had begun to use 
their clubs. Fischer remembered every meet- 
ing, and gave chapter and verse for his state- 
ments. It was not for nothing that he had 
worked as a reporter on the "Arbeiter Zei- 
tung." He had evidently, too, an uncommon- 
ly vivid sense of fairness and justice, and was 
exasperated by what he called despotic author- 
ity. He spoke now in the exact spirit of the 
American Constitution. Free speech to him 
was a right inherent in man. He declared 
that he for one would never surrender it, and 
called upon his audience to go to the meetings 
armed and resolved to maintain a right which 
had never before been questioned in America. 
This provoked a tempest of cheers, and Fischer 
sat down abruptly. His argument was un- 
impeachable; but he did not realize that 
native-born Americans would claim for them- 
selves rights and privileges which they would 
not accord to foreigners. 

The next speaker was a man of a different 
stamp, a middle-aged Jew called Breitmayer, 



07 



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who spoke in favour of subscription for Spies' 
Labour Bureau. He told how the labourers 
were exploited by the employers, and pointed 
his discourse with story after story. This 
sort of talk I could appreciate. I had been 
exploited, too, and I joined heartily in the 
applause which punctuated the speech. To 
Breitmayer humanity was separated into two 
camps — the " Haves" and the "Have-nots," 
or, as he put it, the masters and the slaves, 
the wasters and the wanters. He never raised 
his voice, and some of his talk was effective; 
but even Breitmayer could not keep off the 
burning subject. A friend of his had been 
struck down by a policeman, in the last meet- 
ing; he was still in hospital, and, he feared, 
permanently injured. What crime had 
Adolph Stein committed, what wrong had 
he done, to be maltreated in this way ? Breit- 
mayer, however, ended up tamely. He was 
in favour of passive resistance as long as possi- 
ble (some hissing); "as long as possible," he 
repeated emphatically, and the repetition 
provoked cheer upon cheer. My heart beat 
fast with excitement; evidently the people 
were ripe for active resistance to what they 
regarded as tyrannical oppression. 

After Breitmayer sat down there was a 
moment's pause, and then a man moved for- 
ward from the side, and stood before the 



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meeting. He was a slight, ordinary, nonde- 
script person, with a green shade over his eyes. 
Spies went up beside him, and explained that 
Herr Leiter had been injured in a boiler ex- 
plosion a year before; he had been taken to 
the hospital and treated; had been discharged 
two days ago, almost totally blind. He had 
gone to his former employers, Messrs. Roskill, 
the famous soap manufacturers, of the East 
Side, who had two thousand hands, and asked 
for some light job. They would give him 
nothing, however, and he now appealed to 
friends and brother workmen for help in his 
misfortune. He could see dimly at two or 
three yards. If he had a couple of hundred 
dollars he could open a shop for all sorts of 
soap, and perhaps make a living. At any 
rate, with the help of his wife, he would not 
starve, if he had a shop. All this Spies told 
in an even, unemotional voice. A collection 
was made, and he announced that one hun- 
dred and eighty-four dollars had been collected. 
One hundred and eighty-four dollars from 
that small gathering of working-men and 
women — it was splendidly generous. 

" I dank you very mooch," said Herr Leiter, 
with a catch in his voice, and retired on his 
wife's arm to his seat. The helpless, hopeless 
pathos of the shambling figure; the patience 
with which he bore the awful, unmerited 



59 



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disaster, brought quick, hot tears to my eyes. 
Mr. Roskill could spare nothing out of his 
millions to this soldier broken in his service. 
What were these men made of that they did 
not revolt? Had I been blinded down there 
under water at Brooklyn I would have found 
words of fire. Roskill had done nothing for 
him. Was it credible? I pushed my way 
to the platform and asked Leiter in German: 
"Nichts hat Er gethan — Nichts? Nichts ge- 
geben?" ("Did Roskill do nothing? Give 
you nothing?") 

"Nichts; er sagte dass es ihm Leid thaete." 
("Nothing; he said that he was sorry.") My 
hands fell to my sides. I began to understand 
that resignation was a badge of servitude, 
that such sheepish patience w r as inherited. 
In spite of reasons, my blood boiled, and pity 
shook me; something must be done. Sudden- 
ly Breitmayer's words came back to me, 
"passive resistance as long as possible/' The 
limit must be nearly reached, I thought. I 
could not stay on at the meeting. I had to get 
by myself to think, with the stars above me, so 
I made my w r ay to the door. Blind at six 
and twenty, and turned out to starve, as one 
would not turn out a horse or a dog. It was 
maddening. 

To judge by the speeches, the working-men 
in Chicago were even worse off than the work- 



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ing-men in New York. Why? I could not 
help asking myself: why? Probably because 
there was not so much accumulated wealth, 
and an even more passionate desire to get 
rich quickly. 

" Blind and no compensation, no help," 
the words seemed to be stamped on my brain 
in letters of fire. It was the thought of Leiter 
that made me join the Socialist Club two days 
later. 

I had arranged with Spies to go about visit- 
ing the various workmen's clubs, and I went 
to several of them for the sake of that weekly 
article to New York, and found what I ex- 
pected to find. The wages of the working- 
man were slightly higher than in New York, 
but wherever it was possible to cheat him he 
was cheated, and the proportion of unem- 
ployed was larger than it was on Manhattan 
Island. 

After finishing my article on Leiter that 
week for " Vorwaerts," I went down theMichi- 
gan Boulevard and walked along the Lake 
Shore. The broad expanse of water had a 
fascination for me, and I liked the great 
boulevard and the splendid houses of brown 
stone or brick, each standing in its own grassy 
lawn. After I had walked for an hour, I 
returned by the Boulevard and had an inter- 
esting experience. A hired brougham had 



61 



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run into a buggy, or the buggy had run into 
the hired carriage, which was turning out of 
a cross street; at any rate, there was a great 
row; the buggy was badly broken up and a 
couple of policemen were attending to the 
horses. A crowd gathered quickly. 

"What is the matter?" I asked of my 
neighbour, who happened to be a girl. She 
turned. "I don't know; I've only just come," 
and she lifted her eyes to mine. 

Her face took my breath away; it was the 
face of my dreams — the same dark eyes, and 
hair, the same brows; the nose was a little 
thinner, perhaps, the outlines a little sharper, 
but the confident, wilful expression was there, 
and the dark, hazel eyes were divine. Feel- 
ing that confession was the best sort of intro- 
duction, I told her I was a stranger in Chicago; 
I had just come from New York; I hoped 
she'd let me know her. It was so lonely for 
me. As we turned away from the crowd she 
said she thought I was a foreigner; there was 
something strange in my accent. I confessed 
I was a German, and pleading that it was a 
German custom to introduce oneself, I begged 
her to allow me to do so, adding in German 
fashion, "My name is Rudolph Schnaubelt." 
In reply she told me her name, Elsie Lehman, 
quite prettily. 

"Are you a German, too?" 



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"Oh, no!" she said; "my father was a 
German; he died when I was quite little, " 
and then she went on to say that she lived 
alone with her mother, who was a Southerner. 
I hoped I might accompany her to her house; 
she accepted my escort with a prim, "Certain- 

As we walked we talked about ourselves, 
and I soon learned a good deal about Elsie. 
She was a typewriter and shorthand writer, 
and was engaged during the day with Jansen 
McClurg and Company, the booksellers, but 
was free every evening after seven o'clock. I 
seized the chance; would she come to the 
theatre some night? She replied, flushing, 
that she'd be delighted; confessed, indeed, 
that she liked the theatre better than any 
other amusement except dancing, so I ar- 
ranged to take her to the theatre the very next 
night. 

I parted with her at the door of the lodg- 
ing-house where she and her mother lived; 
she asked me in to make her mother's acquaint- 
ance, but I begged her to let me come next 
night instead, for I was in my working clothes. 
I can still see her standing at the top of the 
steps as she said "good night" to me — the 
slight, lissom figure, the provocative dainty 
face. 

As I went away I wondered how she man- 



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aged to dress so well. She looked a lady; 
she was both neat and smart. How could 
she do it on her wages ? I did not know then 
as I knew afterwards that she had a natural 
gift for whatever was at once becoming and 
distinguished, but the provocative beauty of 
her ran in my blood like wine, and before 
I went home I bought a couple of papers in 
order to see exactly what theatre to select. 
I suppose because I am a German and sen- 
timental, and born with an instinctive respect 
for women, I picked out the most proper play 
I could find; it was "As You Like It," with a 
distinguished actress as Rosalind. 

Next evening I dressed myself as well as 
I could in dark clothes with a silk tie in a loose 
bow, and went round to fetch Elsie at seven 
o'clock. I had been thinking of her the greater 
part of the day, wondering if she liked me as I 
liked her, wondering if I might ever kiss her, 
catching my breath at the thought, for the di- 
vine humility of love was upon me, and Elsie 
seemed too dainty precious for possessing. 

It was her mother who met me when I called, 
a washed-out little woman, with tired, dark 
eyes, and white linen things at her neck and 
wrists, and a faintly querulous voice. She 
told me that Elsie would be down "right 
away," that she had "only just got back from 
the store," and was "fixin' up." 



The Bomb 



We sat down and talked, or rather she drew 
me out, perhaps without object, about my- 
self and my prospects. I was quite willing 
to speak, for I was rather proud of my posi- 
tion as a writer. She seemed to have no 
illusions on the subject; writing, she said, 
"was right easy work," but she guessed it 
didn't pay very well, for "there was a writer 
in the boarding house where we lived before 
who used to borrow round from everybody 
and never paid anybody back. He did meet- 
ings and things": from which I gathered he 
was a reporter. While we were still chatting 
about the impecunious and unscrupulous 
reporter, Elsie came in and took my senses 
captive. 

She was dressed in a sort of light corn- 
coloured tussore, and had a crimson rose in 
her dark hair, just above the ear. She had 
thrown on a scarf of a deeper yellow as head- 
dress — she had the colouring, and all the 
dainty grace of a flower. I told her the dress 
was like a daffodil, and she bowed to the 
compliment with smiling lips and eyes. It 
was quite fine and warm, so we walked to the 
theatre. Once or twice my arm touched hers 
as we walked, and new pulses came to life in 
me. 

What an evening we had! I had read the 
play, but had never seen it, and it was all en- 



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chantment to me. Between the acts Elsie told 
me that she was enjoying it too; but she ob- 
jected to Rosalind's dress. "It wasn't decent," 
she said, "no nice woman would wear it," 
and she scoffed at the idea that Orlando could 
take Rosalind for a boy. "He must have 
known her," she declared, "unless he was a 
gump; no man could be so silly." She did 
not like Jacques particularly, and the court 
in the forest seemed to her ridiculous. 

Before the evening was over she had made 
on me the impression of a definite, strong 
personality. Her beauty was fragile, flower- 
like, appealing; her nature curiously master- 
ful-imperious. To me she has always since 
been touched with something of the magic of 
Rosalind; for Elsie, too, was hardly used by 
fortune, and I liked her the better because she 
was far stronger than Rosalind, far more 
determined to make her own way in this rough 
world. 

She liked the lights and the crowd and the 
pretty dresses, and showed perfect self-con- 
fidence. 

"I love the theatre," she cried. "What a 
pity it is it's not real, not life." 

"More real," I said, in my didactic German 
way; "it should be the quintessence of life." 

Elsie looked at me in astonishment. 

"Sometimes you're funny," she said, and 



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laughed out loud, I could not make out why. 

As we came away after the theatre was 
over, we passed a tall, dark girl, not nearly 
so good-looking as Elsie, with a row of mag- 
nificent pearls round her neck. 

"Homely, wasn't she ?" said Elsie to me, 
as we went out. "But did you see her pearls 
and that lovely dress?" 

"No," I replied, "I didn't notice it partic- 
ularly." 

She described it to me, said she would like 
such a dress; she just loved to imagine she 
was rich. "When I see a pretty dress," she 
went on, "I fancy I am wearing it for the rest 
of the day, and I'm quite happy. Happiness 
is half make-believe, don't you think P" 

"A good part of it," I replied, wondering 
at her wisdom. "And make-believe is great 
fun," I went on, "but a little hard to practise 
as one grows older." 

"You talk like Methuselah," she retorted, 
"but you're not more than twenty." 

"Oh yes, I am," I shot back; but I didn't 
tell her how near she had come to the truth. 

When we got to her door the house was all 
dark; but her mother, she said, would be sure 
to be sitting up for her. Quite naturally, as 
we said "good night," she lifted up her face 
to me. I put my arms round her eagerly 
and kissed her on the lips. I made an ap- 



67 



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pointment for the next evening to take her 
for a walk, and went home with the feeling of 
her body on my arms, and hands, and the 
fragrance of her warm lips on mine. 

Engel had not gone to bed; he never did 
go to bed till all hours. I could not talk to 
him about Elsie, so I told him a little about the 
play, and then hastened to my room. I 
wanted to be alone, so as to re-live the strange, 
sweet sensations. Again and again I put my 
arms round her slender, supple waist, and 
kissed her lips; they were silken-soft; but the 
imagining only set my blood aflame, and that 
was not needed. At last I got a book and 
read myself to sleep. 

From time to time after that first night Elsie 
and I met. When the evening was fine we 
took long walks; her favourite walk was 
Michigan Boulevard, or the Park. "There/' 
she said, "life was graceful and beautiful." 
I learned many things from her. I think 
she showed me the aristocratic view of life; 
she certainly taught me how to speak American 
like an American. In some way or other she 
increased my desire to become an American. 
She excited my ambition, too; wanted to know 
why I did not write for the American papers 
instead of for the ugly little German papers 
that no one cared anything about. In all 
cases she was on the side of the prosperous 



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and the powerful, against the dispossessed 
and the poor. 

But she liked me, and we were boy and girl 
together, and sometimes we got beyond the 
sordid facts of existence. She used to let me 
kiss her, and as she got accustomed to going 
out with me, she yielded now and then for a 
moment or so, at least in spirit, to my desire. 
I had not known her for a week when I wanted 
to become engaged to her, verlobt, after the 
serious German fashion, and I thought I 
chose my time for the proposal very cunningly. 
We were on a bench looking out over the 
Great Lake, silence about us, and the sun- 
light a golden pathway on the waters. We 
had been seated side by side for some time. 
At length I grew bolder and gathered her in 
my arms: as I kissed her she seemed all mine. 

"I want to get an engagement ring for you, 
dear," I said. "What would you like?" 
She straightened herself up and shook her 
dark curls rebelliously. 

"Don't be crazy," she said; "you have 
nothing to marry on, and I have nothing. 
It's just silly. Now we will go home," and in 
spite of all I could say, she started off for the 
Boulevard and home. 

I suppose the sense of difficulty increased my 
ardour; at any rate, I remember, in a week or 
two she was the rose of life to me, and every 



69 



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moment lived away from her was tedious-flat. 
It was Elsie who first taught me love's 
magic, the beauty that never was on earth or 
sea. She transfigured life for me, and made 
even the garment of it adorable. When I 
was with her I lived to a higher intensity — 
my senses inconceivably keen and quick — 
and all the while the witchery of her was in 
the air and sunlight as well as in my blood. 
When she left me I was dull and lonely-sad; 
all the vivid world went grey and sombre. As 
I met her frequently the glamour became 
charm, and passion grew more and more 
imperious. She met my desire in a way that 
delighted me: often a glow of responsive heat 
came in her cheeks and lips; but her self- 
control puzzled me. She did not like to yield 
to the sensuous spell or even to be forced to 
acknowledge its reality. At first I put her 
resistance down to her regard for convention, 
and as I was frightened of losing the com- 
panionship that had grown dear to me, I did 
not press her unduly. To hold the beauty of 
her in my arms and kiss her lips was intoxicat- 
ing to me, and I could not risk offending her. 
But when her lips grew hot on mine I would 
try to kiss her neck or push up her sleeve and 
kiss her arm in the tender inward that was 
like a flower, an ivory white petal all freaked 
with violet tracery. 



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"No, you must not," she cried; "I like you, 
like you very much; you're good and kind, 
I'm sure; but it's wrong; oh yes, it is, and we're 
too poor to marry, so there. You must be- 
have, Boy." ("Boy" was her pet name for 
me.) "I like your blue eyes," she went on 
meditatively, "and your strength and height 
and moustache" (and she touched it, smiling.) 
"But, no! no! no! I'll go home if you don't 
stop." 

Of course I obeyed, but only to begin again 
a minute or two later. My desire was un- 
controllable; I loved Elsie; the more I knew 
of her the more I loved her; but while the 
affection and tenderness lay deep, passion was 
on the surface, so to speak, headstrong and 
imperious; it was not to be bridled, whipped 
to madness as it was by curiosity. My only 
excuse was my youth, for I could not help 
wanting to touch her, to caress her, and my 
hands were as inquisitive as my eyes. 

As soon as my desire became too manifest 
she checked me; as long as it seemed uncon- 
scious she allowed me almost complete free- 
dom. When away from her I used to wonder 
whether it was real modesty which moved her, 
or shyness of the palpable, dislike of the avow- 
ed. 

I quickly found that if I made her share my 
fever, induced her to abandon herself even for 



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a moment to her feelings, she was sure after- 
wards to punish me for this yielding and close 
the passage by leaving me in a pet. 

"No, sir, don't come with me. I can find 
my way home, thank you. Good-bye," and 
the imperious beauty swept away, and I was 
punished. 

Left in this way one evening, I turned and 
walked down to the lake shore. Elsie did not 
like the shore, it was bare and ugly, she said; 
no grass would grow there and no trees; it 
was desolate and wild, too, and only hateful, 
common people walked there; but the illimi- 
table prospect of the waste of water always 
drew me, so now I followed my humour. 

I had not walked over half a mile when I 
came upon a great meeting. A man was 
speaking from a cart to a crowd that must 
have numbered two or three thousand persons. 
The speaker was a tall American and evidently 
a practised orator, with a fine tenor voice. 
He interested me at once: his forehead was 
high; his features well cut; his dark moustache 
waved up a little at the ends. There was 
something captivating in the man's picturesque 
speech and manifest sincerity. He seemed 
to have travelled a good deal and read a good 
deal, and when I came to the outskirts of the 
crowd I found every one hanging on his lips. 

"Who is it?" I asked. I was told at once 



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that he was a man called Parsons, the editor 
of "The Alarm," a Labour paper. He was 
speaking about the Eight Hour Bill, which 
the Labour party hoped to get passed that 
Session, and he was contrasting the lot of the 
rich yonder on Michigan Boulevard with the 
lot of the poor. He spoke well, and the crude 
opposites of life were all about him to give 
point to his words. There, a couple of hun- 
dred yards away, the rich were driving in 
their carriages, with costly wraps about 
them, and servants to wait on them, and round 
about him and before him the producers, the 
workmen who could hardly be sure of their 
next meal; the text was splendidly illustrated. 

"You workmen make the carriages, " he 
cried, "and the rich drive in them; you build 
the great houses and they live in them. All 
over the world workmen are now preparing 
delicacies for them; dogs are being bred for 
them in China and goldfish in Cuba. In the 
frozen North men with frost-bitten finders are 
trapping animals so that these worthless lazers 
may drive in furs; in sun-baked Florida other 
men are raising fruit for them; your children 
go hungry and half-naked in the bitter winter, 
while they waste fifty thousand dollars on a 
meal and keep footmen to put silk stockings 
on toy dogs." 

He had certainlv a gift of rhetoric, and he 



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tried to reason as well. He called this " the age 
of machinery," and declared that through 
machines the productive power of the indivi- 
dual had been increased a hundredfold in the 
last century. "Why, then, is the producer 
not paid a hundred times as much?" he 
shouted. "Eight hours of work now produce 
as much wealth as hundreds of hours a cen- 
tury ago, why shouldn't the employer be 
satisfied with eight hours a day, and leave the 
workman the possibility of a human exis- 
tence? He would be satisfied were he the 
employer and not the exploiter. . . . 

"Think of the injustice of it all," he cried. 
"We men are gradually winning a mastery 
over nature. The newest force, electricity, 
is also the cheapest and the most efficient. 
First comes the scientist who discovers the 
law or the new power ; then the inventor who 
puts it to use; then the greedy brute who by 
law or force or fraud annexes the benefits of 
it. The poor here in Chicago are as poor as 
ever; many of them will die this winter of 
cold and destitution; but the rich grow richer 
continually. Who ever heard a century ago 
of a man making a million of dollars in his 
own lifetime. Now we have our Rockefellers 
and others with fortunes of a hundred millions. 
Did they make those huge sums?" he asked. 
"Of course they didn't, they stole them, and 



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they are only able to steal such enormous 
amounts because the brains of the scientist 
and the inventor have made labour tenfold 
more productive than it was before we com- 
pressed steam to our service and harnessed the 
lightning to our use. But are all the benefits 
of man's wisdom and labour always to go to 
the greedy few; to be lost, so to speak, in lakes 
and cisterns, and never to spread in fertilizing 
showers over the whole land ? I refuse to 
believe it. I have another vision in my mind," 
and he proceeded to sketch a sort of working- 
man's paradise. . . . 

The appeal was effective; the murmurs in 
the crowd showed that. Several times Par- 
sons puzzled me; he talked of Socialism and 
Anarchy as if they were one; but certainly he 
talked with passion and enthusiasm. All at 
once I noticed a man on my left; he had come 
up after me. He was dressed like a workman, 
but neatly. I noticed him because he turned 
aside from something the speaker had said 
with a certain contempt in his look. I re- 
marked quite casually — 

"You don't seem to agree with Parsons." 

Suddenly our eyes met; it was as if I had 
had an electric shock, the gaze was so piercing, 
so extraordinary, that involuntarily I braced 
myself to meet it. 

"A little florid," the man replied. 



15 



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I was nettled at the contempt, but spoke 
again, mainly in order to see the eyes fairly, 
and find out the secret of their strange power. 

"There is surely a good deal of truth in 
what he says, and he says it splendidly." 

Again his eyes met mine, and again I had 
the same shock. 

"Oh yes!" he assented, looking out over 
the lake, "it's the shallow water has the lace- 
foam on it," he added, and turned quietly 
away. 

I could not help looking after him as he 
went. Were his eyes grey or black ? I could 
not tell. I could see him still, he was only 
about middle height, but squarely built, and 
he walked with a lithe speed and ease, as of 
great strength. I was never so impressed in 
my life by any one; yet he had scarcely said 
anything. Though I did not know it then, 
I had spoken for the first time to Louis Lingg, 
the man who was to shape my life. 



76 



Chapter III 



CHAPTER III 

ABOUT this time I began to realize that 
the struggle between the employers 
and the employed in Chicago was becoming 
dangerously bitter, and was envenomed by 
the fact that nine out of ten native-born Ameri- 
cans were taking sides with the masters a- 
gainst the workmen on the ground that the 
workmen were foreigners and interlopers. 
The agitation for an eight-hours' day was 
looked upon as a foreign innovation, and de- 
nounced on every hand. 

Acting on Elsie's advice, I had gone to the 
great American papers in Chicago and tried 
to get work. When asked what I could do, 
I handed the editors an English translation 
of the best of my articles in " Vorwaerts." 
After many disappointments, I had a talk 
with the editor of "The Chicago Tribune," 
who accepted my paper on working under- 
ground in New York on condition that I 
would cut out all that "socialist poppycock." 

"It won't go down here," he said, smiling; 
"it's Limburger cheese to us, see! Good in 
its own way, I've no doubt; but a little too 
strong. You catch on, eh?" 



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At the same time he gave me a cheque for 
twenty-five dollars for the article. I could 
not let such an opportunity slip. I told him I 
knew German even better than English, and 
should like to act as his reporter in the labour 
troubles. 

"O.K./' he replied; "but don't go tootin' 
about for the foreigner. We're Americans 
every time and stand for the star-spangled 
banner: understand ?" 

I said I would confine myself to the facts, 
and I did so more or less successfully on several 
minor occasions. At last something happened 
which seemed to me at the time significant 
and which later I saw marked a new departure. 
There was a strike on the East Side. It 
was in December or January, bitter winter 
weather, fifteen or twenty degrees below zero. 
Snow was falling slowly, the afternoon closing 
in. The operatives in some machine shops 
had come out, and were holding a meeting on 
a vacant lot near the factory. A thousand 
workmen or so attended, and perhaps a hun- 
dred women and boys. The speeches were 
for the most part in German, and were dull 
to a degree. The main complaint was that 
the employers were cutting down wages, and 
increasing fines, because they had too large 
a stock, and wanted to diminish expenses in 
winter while trade was at its worst. The 



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work, too, was such that any workman could 
do it, and so the masters had every advantage. 

There we stood in the bitter wind and 
driving snowflakes, while these poor wretches 
talked and decided to picket the neighbour- 
hood to prevent new men taking on their jobs 
in ignorance of the situation. I went among 
the crowd studying the strikers. Most of the 
faces were young, strong, intelligent; hardly 
any wastrels among them, the average of 
looks far higher than one would see in Ham- 
burg or Munich; but care and anxiety were to 
be read on nearly every countenance. Many 
faces, too, seemed bitter, a few were sullen, 
or hard. The fight for life was evidently 
terrible in this town, where the workmen were 
weak — disunited through differences of race 
and speech. 

The gloomy day was darkening to night; 
the snow was falling more heavily. I had 
drawn a little away from the crowd, and was 
thinking about getting home to write up my 
notes, when I heard the tramp of feet, and 
saw a strong force of police, perhaps one 
hundred in all, marching down the street. 
At once I was at my keenest. The police 
drew up at the lot, and Captain Bonfield, a 
big, powerful fellow, who had won to command 
through sheer strength and courage, thrust 
the crowd asunder, and, with a dozen of his 



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men pushed his way to the centre. "Come 
down," the police cried to the speakers, call- 
ing at the same time to the crowd about 
them to disperse: "break up, there! break 
up!" was the cry, and the strikers began to 
obey with sullen murmurs of discontent. 

At first it looked as if high-handed author- 
ity would triumph once more; but there came 
a fateful pause, and at once the police seemed 
to lose their tempers. I pressed into the 
crowd to see what was going on. Bonfield 
was talking to one of the speakers, a man 
whom I afterwards knew, called Fielden, an 
Englishman, a middle-aged, dark-bearded man, 
the essence of good-nature, but stolidly de- 
termined. He kept repeating now — 

"We are not interfering with anybody. 
Who are we interfering with ? We are harm- 
ing nobody." 

Bonfield had his club in his hand. He 
suddenly seemed to lose self-control. Per- 
haps he was pressed against by the crowd. 1 
can't tell. But of a sudden he struck Fielden 
in the stomach with his club, and knocked him 
backwards off the cart, which was serving as 
a sort of extemporized platform. At once 
a man thrust himself forward in front of Bon- 
field, shouting some gibberish that I could 
hardly distinguish, and using wild gestures. 
It was Fischer, the Communist reporter. He 



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was evidently beside himself with angry ex- 
citement, and his German-English jargon 
was wholly unintelligible to the police. Bon- 
field looked at him for a minute, and thrust 
him back with his left hand. As Fischer 
pressed forward again, gesticulating, Bonfield 
thrust him back again, and then clubbed him 
savagely on the head. Fischer fell senseless, 
and that was, as it were, the signal for the 
row to begin. In one moment the police were 
lost, pulled down, and trampled under foot 
by the surging crowd of men. Immediately 
I turned and began to push through the crowd 
to get out in order to see what would take 
place. The police on the outskirts had al- 
ready drawn their clubs, and were using them 
on every one. The crowd began to ravel 
away at its edges before the fierce attack. I 
struggled out of it somehow, and got to the 
pavement, and from there I saw the police 
bludgeoning every one they could. Most of 
the crowd were already running away. While 
trying to escape men and women were 
brutally struck down. It was a butchery. 
My blood was boiling; but I had no weapon, 
and could do nothing. I was standing just 
at the corner of the street and the vacant lot, 
when a policeman near me ran after a boy. 
The boy could not have been more than thir- 
teen or fourteen years of age. He got almost 



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to my side, and then as the policeman caught 
up to him and lifted his club, I think I shouted 
in horror. But some one passed me like a 
flash, and before the policeman's club had 
fallen, indeed, while he was in the very act of 
striking, he was struck himself, under the jaw, 
and with such speed and force that I gasped 
with amazement at the wav he went down, 
his club whirling in the air a dozen feet away. 
The next moment his assailant turned and 
strode past me down the street. It was the 
man whose gaze had made such an impression 
on me a short time before at Parson's meeting 
on the Lake shore. 

A moment later I called after him, but, in 
the meantime, several of the strikers had 
rushed between us, and when I followed him 
he had disappeared. 

I wrote the account of the police attack, as 
I have told it here, and took it to the office of 
the "Tribune"; but before going I took care 
to get together some facts to corroborate my 
statements. Thirty-five strikers had been ta- 
ken to the hospital, all of them severely wound- 
ed, two of them dangerously; while not one 
policeman was injured sufficiently to come 
under the doctor's hands. 

When the editor had read my article, he 
put it down frowning. "It may be as you 
say, Schnaubelt," he said; "the admittances 



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to the hospital make your story look probable. 
But you are up against America in this matter, 
and I am not going to take sides against my 
own people. 'Yankee Doodle* is our tune 
every time, and don't you forget it!" he added 
assertively. 

"I have taken no side," I explained; "I 
am telling simply what I saw." 

"That's the worst of it," he admitted. 
"D — n it. I believe it is the truth; but, any- 
way, I can't and won't publish it. You 
foreigners are trying to make an eight-hour 
day, and we are not going to have it. I will 
write a little 'par' myself, just saying that 
Bonfield was needlessly energetic." 

"Well," I said, "if you won't take this 
strike stuff of mine, perhaps you will keep 
me on still about the fires and anything of 
that sort." 

"Yes, yes," he said. "You do it very well. 
You go to every fire, and our American re- 
porters get too cunning. They write up ac- 
counts without having been there. Yes, I'll 
take the fire stuff all right; but you keep off 
this strike business. It's going to be bad 
weather for some of those Poles and Germans, 
I can see — mighty bad weather." 

The editor was right; it was bad weather for 
the foreign workmen all through that savage 
winter and spring, for the editor of the "Tri- 



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bune," like all the other American editors, put 
in no part of the truth. He forgot even to say 
in his leading article that Bonfield was need- 
lessly energetic, as he had promised. What 
he did say was that the thirty-five foreigners 
in the hospital would perhaps serve as a 
warning to the rest that any attack on the 
police would be vigorously repressed. Hard 
weather, indeed, and worse to come for the 
foreign workmen! 

I was no longer employed to go to the 
strikes. I saw them, and hundreds of Amer- 
ican eye-witnesses are still living who can 
prove that the police went on from bru- 
tality to brutality. Every month their actions 
became more indefensible, till at length they 
did not even summon the crowds to dis- 
perse, but used their clubs at once, indiscrim- 
inately upon strikers and lookers-on and 
casual passers-by, like madmen. 

But I am getting ahead of my story. After 
that talk with the editor of the " Tribune, " 
I went to see Spies. He was delighted to 
have my description of the police attack for 
his paper; introduced me to Fielden, the 
Englishman, who had already given him a 
rough account of it; and who told us that 
Fischer was lying ill at home. He had had 
a terrible blow, it appeared. The whole side 
of his face had been crushed in; he was suffer- 



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ing from concussion of the brain, and would 
not be able to get about again for months. 
The dreadful affair seemed to have excited 
Spies's courage and strengthened his resolu- 
tion. "Shameful, shameful," he kept on 
saying. "For the first time in America order- 
ly meetings on vacant lots are dispersed by 
force. Thoughts are met with police blud- 
geons." He was almost beside himself with 
excitement and anger. 

On my way out I stopped in the outer office 
to say a word or two to the cashier, and as I 
went into the outside waiting-room I met 
Raben. 

"What!" I cried, "you here in Chicago?" 

He told me he had been in Chicago some 
time. 

"Come out," I went on, "and let me give 
you a German meal like the one you gave me 
in New York. Do you remember? There's 
a lot to talk about." 

"There is," he said. "You people in Chi- 
cago are making history. I have been sent 
by 'The New York Herald' to write up these 
strikes of yours." His air of triumph was 
amusing. His connection with the well-known 
paper increased his self-importance. 

As we went out together I noticed with 
some satisfaction that my accent in American 
was now better than his. I spoke like an 



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American, whereas any one could see that he 
was a German. Elsie had done me a lot of 
good. Besides, my reading of the English 
writers and the articles I had already written 
in English had given me a larger vocabulary 
and a greater control of English than he could 
pretend to. 

We were soon seated in a restaurant at a 
good meal, and I learned to my astonishment 
that Raben had been ten days or a fortnight 
in Chicago. 

"I heard of you," he said, "and expected 
to run across you any day." 

" But have you been about ?" I asked. " It is 
curious I have not seen you." The fact, of 
course, being that I had been out with Elsie 
nearly every evening, and so had not been in 
the way of meeting many Germans. 

Half in self-defence, I added, " I have been 
in the 'Arbeiter Zeitung' twice in the last 
week." 

"Oh," he said, "that 'Arbeiter Zeitung' is 
nothing important. The revolutionary force 
in Chicago is the 'Lehr and Wehr Verein. ,, 

I repeated the words, "'Revolutionary force 
. . . 'Lehr and Wehr Verein' — I have never 
heard of it." 

"You come with me to-night," said Raben, 
with the intense satisfaction of a Columbus, 
"and I'll show it to you. Anarchists, my 



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boy; men who'll do something; not your meek 
Socialists who will talk and let themselves 
be clubbed to death without resisting. ,, Ra- 
ben, I had noticed already, lived to astonish 
people. His excessive vanity had dramatic 
ambitions; he wanted to be a Cassandra and 
Jeremiah rolled into one. 

"Good God!" I cried, "are there really 
Anarchists in Chicago ?" The mere word 
seemed terrible to me. 

Raben gloated over my amazement and awe. 
"You come with me," he said, "and I will 
show you Chicago. Though I have only been 
here a fortnight, I know more of it than you 
who have been here for months. I don't let 
the grass grow under my feet," and he pursed 
his lips in perfect self-satisfaction. 

After the meal we set off for the Anarchist 
club, and he took me out to the East Side, to 
the outskirts of the town, in the centre of the 
foreign, cheapest quarter. There we went 
into a German saloon, and he introduced me 
to Herr Michael Schwab, who was an assistant 
editor on the "Arbeiter Zeitung," and whom 
I had seen with Spies, a bespectacled German 
professor, thin, angular, sallow, with black 
hair and long, black, unkempt beard. Raben 
told Schwab in German who I was and what 
my sympathies were, and Schwab said yes, 
he would take us upstairs. He led the way 



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through the back of the saloon and up a nar- 
row staircase into a bare, empty room, where 
there were perhaps thirty men and three or 
four women. There was a long table down 
the centre of the room, round which the au- 
dience sat, and a small plain deal table at the 
end of the room for the speakers. Our ap- 
pearance caused some stir; every one looked 
at us. Apparently the meeting had not yet 
begun. As soon as I entered the room I was 
struck again by seeing the man who had 
knocked the policeman down, and whom I 
was so curious to know. As I was about to 
ask Raben to get Schwab to introduce me, 
Raben turned to me and said — 

"Oh, there she is. I must introduce you 
to the prettiest Anarchist in the world,' ' and 
he pulled me in front of a tall, handsome bru- 
nette, who had begun to talk to Schwab. 
"Allow me," he said in American, "Miss 
Ida Miller, to present to you a friend of mine, 
Mr. Rudolph Schnaubelt." 

She smiled and held out her hand. Raben 
told her how he had persuaded me to come to 
the meeting, a real Anarchist meeting, though 
I didn't believe there was an Anarchist in 
Chicago. " He's a South German, you know," 
he added almost contemptuously. Some- 
thing in Miss Miller's expression attracted 
me greatly, and almost before I knew it 



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we were talking sympathetically. Her eyes 
were fine, and she interested me, appealed to 
me, indeed, as a child might appeal. Sud- 
denly I remembered. 

"There is one man here whom I must know, 
Miss Miller. I wonder if you know him ?" 

"What's he like?" she asked. 

I described his eyes, the impression he had 
made on me at the first meeting, and then told 
of his extraordinary defence of the boy, the 
speed and power of his attack, and the cool 
way he turned and disappeared down the 
street. 

"That must be Louis," cried Ida, "Louis 
Lingg. Just think of it! he never said one 
word to me about it, not one word." 

I repeated the words after her, "Louis 
Lingg. Is he French, then?" 

"Oh no," she said: "he is a German from 
Mannheim. That's him over there at the 
end of the table. He is the founder of this 
society — a great man," she went on, as if to 
herself. 

"Of course you think him great," said Ra- 
ben; "that is only natural." 

Miss Miller turned and looked at him. 

"Yes," she repeated, "it is only natural. 
I am glad of that. Those who know him best, 
think most of him." 

"I'd like to know Lingg," I said. 



so 



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"He'll be glad to know you," she replied. 
As we turned aside she went on, in a low voice, 
"He is always glad to know any one who 
wants to learn or help," and the next moment 
she had called him, "Louis!" and had in- 
troduced me to him. His eyes met me now 
fairly; but I had no shock from them. They 
were dark grey, with black pupils and lashes; 
in expression curiously steady and searching; 
but not lambent-wonderful, as I had thought 
them at first. Yet I was to see the unearthly 
power in them often enough in the future. 
While I was still looking at Lingg, trying to 
fix his features in my mind, trying to under- 
stand wherein lay the abnormal and extra- 
ordinary in his personality, Miss Miller began 
reproaching him for not having told her what 
he had done. 

"I did nothing," he said, very quietly and 
slowly. 

"Yes, you did," she cried enthusiastically; 
"you knocked down the policeman and saved 
the boy, and then walked away as if nothing 
had happened. I can see you doing it. Mr. 
Schnaubelt has been telling us all about it. 
But why didn't you tell me?" 

He shrugged his shoulders, and said simply, 
"Perhaps we had better get on with the 



meeting. 



At this moment there was an interruption. 



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Schwab came round making a collection, 
"For Mrs. Schelling," he said. 

"Who? What for?" I asked. 

Lingg seemed glad of the interruption. 
He answered my questions courteously. 

"A case at our last meeting, a case of lead 
poisoning. Mrs. Schelling is a widow with 
one rickety child. She's finished, I'm afraid; 
she can't last long." 

"Really!" I exclaimed. "Is lead poison- 
ing frequent here ?" 

"Very frequent," he said, "among house 
painters. You must have heard of 'wrist- 
drop' — paralysis of the nerves of the wrist ?" 

"No," I said; "but are women employed 
as painters ?" 

"Not as painters, but in manufactories of 
white lead and in type foundries," said Lingg. 
"The worst of it is that women are much 
more liable to plumbism, and suffer much 
more than men. It kills them sometimes in a 
few weeks." 

"Good God!" I exclaimed, "how awful!" 

"Lead poisoning has one good result," he 
went on bitterly; "married couples seldom 
bear children; miscarriages are frequent, and 
the few children there are usually die of con- 
vulsions in babyhood, or as idiots a little later." 

"Shocking!" I cried. "Why isn't a sub- 
stitute found for white lead ?" 



<)l 



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" There is a substitute," he answered, 
"zinc white. The French Chamber wants to 
prohibit the use of white lead altogether, and 
substitute zinc white; but the Senate won't. 
Characteristic, isn't it? Of course, the dem- 
ocratic American Government pays no at- 
tention to such matters ; the health of working- 
men doesn't concern it." 

"Is the pain great?" I asked. 

" Horrible, sometimes. I have known young 
girls blinded, others paralysed, others go mad 
and die." He broke off. "We are always 
glad to have a little money in hand for real 
need; but you must not feel compelled to 
subscribe — the giving is voluntary," and say- 
ing this he led the way to the little table at 
the top of the room. Raben followed him. 

Everything Lingg said impressed me. He 
brought me into a new atmosphere, a new life. 

Still trying to find a reason for my admira- 
tion of him, I took a seat beside Miss Miller 
at the long table. There was a little stir, 
and then a man got up and gave in English 
a very good description of the fight between 
the police and the strikers. I was astonished 
at the restraint of his speech, and the unim- 
passioned, detached way in which he described 
what had taken place. I felt Lingg's influence 
on him. When he sat down there was a little 
murmur of applause. 



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After him Louis Lingg got up, and said he 
was sure the meeting was grateful to Mr. 
Koch for his account; the meeting would now 
listen with pleasure to Professor Schwab. 

The bilious doctrinaire Professor made 
what seemed to me a rambling, ineffective 
speech. He knew political economy from 
one end to the other, as only a German can 
know a subject; knew the English school and 
the American school, and the French and 
German schools, all of them, with encyclo- 
paedic exactness; but his own ideas seemed to 
have come from Lasalle and Marx, with a 
tincture of Herbert Spencer. One thing he 
was quite clear about, and that was that in- 
dividualism had been pushed too far, es- 
pecially in America and England. "There 
is no pressure from the outside," he said, 
"on these countries, and so the atoms that 
constitute the social organism tend to fall 
apart. Here and in England we have in- 
dividualism run mad." And then he quoted 
Goethe with unction — 

"Im Ganzen, Guten, Schoenen, 
Resolut zu leben." 

His assumption of authority, his great read- 
ing, something flabby in the man, annoyed 
me. I did not want a sea of words to wash 
away my memory of the terrible things I had 
seen; the tempest of pity and anger which 



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had carried me away that afternoon. Some- 
thing of this I said to Ida Miller, and she im- 
mediately said, "Go up and speak; say so. 
Truth will do us all good." 

So I stood up and went to the table. I 
asked Lingg might I speak, and then sat down 
waiting. He immediately got up, and said 
formally the meeting would have pleasure in 
listening to Mr. Schnaubelt. I began by 
saying it seemed to me wrong to say that 
America suffered from too much individual 
freedom when we were being clubbed to death 
for speaking our minds in an orderly fashion. 
Americans cherished the right of free speech, 
but denied it to foreigners, though we were 
Americans, too, with just as good title to the 
name as the native-born who had only pre- 
ceded us into the country by a generation or 
two. 

"I don't know," I went on, "whether equal- 
ity is possible or not. I came to this Lehr 
Verein, or teaching club, in order to find out 
whether any one can tell me anything new 
about the possibility of equality. I can see 
no equality in nature; no equality among 
men in gifts and powers; how can there be 
equality in possessions ? But there may be 
fair play and equal rights, it seems to me," 
and I bowed and went back and took my 
place again by Ida. 



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"Splendid! splendid!" she said; "that will 
draw Louis." 

Lingg got up at once, and asked whether 
there was any one else who wished to speak, 
and there came a general murmur, " Lingg, 
Lingg." He bowed to the call, and then said 
quietly, in the tone of familiar conversation — 

"The last speaker doubted the possibility 
of equality. Complete equality is of course 
unthinkable; but ever since the French Re- 
volution there has been an approach towards 
equality, an endeavour after equality. Van- 
ity is as strong a passion in man as greed," 
he said, evidently thinking aloud. "Before 
the French Revolution it was considered 
nothing out of the way for a nobleman to 
spend a hundred thousand or two hundred 
thousand livres a year on his dress. I think 
the professor will tell you that there were 
noblemen at the French Court whose mere 
clothes represented the yearly earnings of 
hundreds of workmen. 

"The French Revolution did away with 
all that. It brought in a dress for men more 
suited to an industrial civilization. We are no 
longer dressed as soldiers or dandies, but as 
workmen, and the difference between one 
man's dress and another's is a few dollars, or 
a few score of dollars a year. The man now 
who would wear a lace shirt or diamonds in 



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his shoes that cost him a hundred thousand 
dollars, would be regarded as a madman; 
these extravagances have become impossible. 
Why should there not be another revolution, 
and a similar approach towards equality in 
payment for services? I look forward, not 
to equality, which does not seem to me either 
possible or desirable; but to a great move- 
ment towards equality in the pay of individual 
work." 

At this moment a note was passed to him. 
He asked the permission of the ladies and 
gentlemen present to read it. He was curiously 
courteous, this man, always. He read the note, 
and then went on in the same slow, quiet tone — 

"I said," he began, "all I wanted to say; 
but I have a request here from one of our 
Society to speak on the police attack to-day." 
He suddenly moved forward to the end of the 
table, and as he looked down it a thrill went 
through all of us who caught his eye. Then 
he looked down again. 

"I do not know what to say. One hopes 
that such an outrage will not be repeated. I 
will say no more to-night, though" — and his 
words dropped slowly from his lips like bul- 
lets — "though our Society is for defence as 
well as education." There was a menace 
in his voice I could hardly account for or ex- 
plain. He looked up sombre, and the words 



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seemed to repeat themselves in our awe- 
stricken ears. 

"One can't meet bludgeons with words," 
he went on, "nor blows by turning the other 
cheek. Violence must be met with violence. 
Americans should surely know that action 
and reaction are equal and opposite; oppres- 
sion and revolt equal and opposite also." 

He suddenly stopped, bowed to us, and the 
meeting broke up into talk — quick chatter 
about the table, in an endeavour, it seemed to 
me, to get rid of the effect of Lingg's speech 
upon us and his astonishing personality. For the 
first time in life I had come into the presence 
of a man who was wiser than I had imagined 
possible, who brought new thoughts into life 
at every moment, and whose whole being 
was so masterful and intense that one expected 
greater things from him than from other 
men. 

I turned enthusiastically to Miss Miller. 

"Oh, you are right," I said; "he is a great 
man, Louis Lingg, a great man. I want to 
know him well." 

"I am glad," she said simply; but her face 
lighted up at my praise. "Nothing easier. 
If he has nothing to do this evening you could 
come home with us." 

"Do you live with him?" I asked, in my 
amazement utterly unconscious of what I 



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was saying. Without any false sentiment 
she answered me — 

"Oh yes; we do not believe in marriage. 
Louis thinks moral laws are simply laws of 
health; he regards marriage as a silly institu- 
tion, without meaning for men and women 
who wish to deal honestly with each other." 

Evidently this evening I was to go through 
shock upon shock. I stared at her, scarcely 
able to believe my ears. 

"I see you are astonished," she said, laugh- 
ing; "but we are Anarchists and rebels. You 
must get accustomed to us." 

"Anarchists!" I repeated, genuinely shock- 
ed; "really?" 

How the meeting broke up I do not know; 
but it did break up at last. We had a glass 
or two of beer all round, for the good of the 
house, and then we dispersed; but not before 
Lingg had given me his address, and told me 
he would be glad to see me on the morrow, 
or whenever I liked to call. 

"I have read some of your work," he said, 
"and I like it. There's sincerity in it." 

I got crimson in spite of myself; no com- 
pliment ever pleased me so much. I went off 
with Raben, and wanted to know all about 
Lingg; began, indeed, to talk about him en- 
thusiastically; but found Raben not at all 
enthusiastic, and soon discovered that he 



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knew little or nothing about Lingg, was much 
more interested in Miss Miller, and looked 
upon Lingg's liaison with her as a very bad 
thing for the girl. That night I felt as if 
Raben dirtied everything he touched. I bade 
him "good night" as soon as possible, and 
hurried home to get my own thoughts clear, 
and to digest the new ones which Lingg had 
put into my head, and, above all, the new 
spirit that he seemed to have breathed into 
my being. Could one man stand against the 
whole of society, and defy it ? How ? 



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Chapter IV 



100 



THERE now began for me a period of 
forced growth; growth of mind through 
intercourse with Lingg; growth of emo- 
tions and knowledge of life, knowledge 
of myself and of women, through intimacy 
with Elsie Lehman. For months and months 
I met Lingg continually, often spent the 
whole day with him; yet in all that time I 
never met him once without learning some- 
thing new from him. Again and again I 
went to him, feeling sure that he could not 
have anything new to say, but at some time or 
other in the conversation a new subject would 
be touched on, and immediately new ideas, 
a new view, came from him. At the time, I 
remember well, this astounded me, for I my- 
self loved ideas, any and every bold general- 
ization, which like a golden thread would 
string together a hundred pearls of fact. I 
was fairly well equipped, too, in the wisdom 
of the schools, and in books, before I met 
Lingg. I had read a good deal of Greek and 
Latin, and the best authors in French, German 
and English. The amazing part of it to me 
at first was that Lingg had read very little. 






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Again and again when talking on social ques- 
tions I had to say, "Oh, that's Heine's thought, 
or "Goethe's." His eyebrows went up; they 
were his thoughts, and that was enough for 
him. He seemed to think where other think- 
ers left off, and if I were to attempt to set 
down here in cold sequence all the fruitful 
ideas and brilliant guesses which came from 
him naturally in the heat of conversation, or 
sprang like sparks from the cut and thrust of 
dialectic, I should be painting a prig, or a 
thinking machine, and Louis Lingg was 
neither of these; but a warm-hearted friend 
and passionate lover. There were in him 
all sorts of contradictions and anomalies, as 
there are in all of us; but he seemed to touch 
the extremes of life with a wider reach than 
other men. He was a peculiar nature; usually 
cool, calculating, self -concentrated, judging 
men and things absolutely according to their 
value, as a realist; the next moment all flame 
and emotion, with an absolute genius for 
self-sacrifice. 

To show the insight in him, the power and 
clearness of his intellect, I must give another 
of his speeches at the Lehr Verein. When I 
heard it, it seemed to me so wise, fair, and 
moderate as to be convincing. 

Lingg began by saying that the chief evils 
of our society showed themselves first towards 



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the end of the eighteenth century. "This 
period/' he went on, "was made memorable 
by the invention of the spinning jenny and 
by the use of steam as a force, and by the 
publication of 'The Wealth of Nations,' in 
which individualism was first preached as a 
creed. Just at the time when man by using 
natural laws began to multiply tenfold the 
productivity of his labour, it was proposed to 
leave everything to the grab-as-grab-can prin- 
ciple of individual greed. Now, consider the 
consequences of this mistake in a concrete 
form; the roads of the country had always 
been regarded as national property; they 
were made as cheaply as possible at the public 
cost, and maintained by the local authorities; 
but the railroads were made and owned and 
maintained by individuals or rather by groups 
of individuals. The land, too, in every coun- 
try, had been leased to the individual by the 
State on some sort of payment, and from one- 
third to one-half of it reserved as common 
land; now the land was given in freehold to 
the individual. At once the social organism 
began to suffer. It grew rich quickly; but the 
poor grew poorer; the workhouses filled; the 
modern contrast of extravagant riches and 
extreme destitution came into being. . . . 

"Socialism, or Communism, is now being 
preached as a remedy for all this; let us take 



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everything from the individual, Marx cries, 
and all will be well. But that's surely an 
experiment. Civilization, as we understand 
it, has been founded on individualism; can- 
not the individual be restrained without sub- 
verting the social structure ? I agree with 
Professor Schwab, we are suffering from too 
much individualism; the problem is how to 
limit individualism, how far socialism should 
come into life? The answer, to my mind, is 
clear; the individual should be left with all 
those departments of industry which he is 
able to control: his activity should not be 
limited in any honest direction; but all those 
departments of labour which he is not able to 
control, in which he has given up his free- 
dom in order to join with other men in Joint 
Stock Companies, and so increase his power 
to plunder the community — all such indus- 
tries should be taken over by the State, or by 
the Municipality, beginning, of course, with 
those which are most necessary to the welfare 
of the body politic. 

"I take it, too, that the land of a country 
should belong to the people of the country, 
and should be rented out to cultivators on 
easy terms, for country life produces the 
strongest and most healthful citizens. All 
the railways and means of communication 
should be nationalized; the water companies, 



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104 



the gas and electric lighting companies, 
banks and insurance companies, and so on. 
If you consider the matter, you will find that 
it is just in and through these great industries, 
directed by Joint Stock Companies that all 
the evils of our civilization have shown them- 
selves. These are the hot-houses of specula- 
tion and theft where the lucky gambler, or 
daring thief, to give him his proper name, has 
won millions and demoralized the public 
conscience. 

"If you had here in America, beside the 
landed population, an industrial army manag- 
ing the railways and canals, the lighting and 
water companies, with fair wages and absolute 
security of employment pending good be- 
haviour, you would have lifted the whole 
scale of wages of the day labourer, for if the 
individual employer who could not give such 
security did not offer higher wages than the 
state he would not get the best men." 

As he spoke light dawned on me; this was 
the truth if ever it was heard from human 
lips; the exact truth struck in the centre. 
The individual should be master of all those 
industries which he could control unaided, 
and no more. Joint Stock Companies' ma- 
nagement was worse even than State manage- 
ment; every one knew it was more inefficient 
and more corrupt. All my reading, all my 






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experience, leaped to instant recognition of 
Lingg's insight, to instant agreement with 
him. What a man he was! 

Of course this statement as it stands com- 
pressed here gives a very imperfect idea of 
Lingg's genius; it is all set down boldly, with- 
out the vivid, living flashes of humour which 
made his talk inimitable; but still, the truth 
is there, the wine of thought, though gone a 
little flat. That evening was made doubly 
memorable to me by another experience. 

A workman was introduced suffering from 
"phossy jaw"; he had worked as a "dipper," 
it appeared, at a match manufactory on the 
East Side. The "composition" into which 
the heads of the matches are dipped is warm 
and moist, and contains about five per cent 
of white phosphorus. The fumes of the 
phosphorus can be seen rising above the 
composition. Of course fans are used; but 
fans are not sufficient to protect a workman 
with bad teeth. This man had good teeth 
at the beginning; but at length a tooth de- 
cayed in his lower jaw, and at once phosphorus 
necrosis set in. He was strangely apathetic; 
so powerful a motive is vanity that it almost 
seemed as if he were proud of the extraordinary 
extent to which his jaw was decayed. 

"I'm pretty bad," he said; "the doctor 
says he has never seen a worse case. Look 



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here," and he put his fingers in his mouth, 
and broke off a long sliver of jaw-bone. "Bad, 
ain't it ? . . . I've been twelve weeks out of 
work; I'm rotten," he confided to us, "that's 
what I am — rotten. I stepped down off the 
sidewalk into the street and — crack ! my thigh 
bone snapped in two — rotten! I wouldn't 
care if it weren't for the missus and 
the kids. It don't hurt, and there's lots 
worse off; but twelve weeks is a bit long. I 
guess they could get a substitute for that 
phosphorus if they wanted to." * 

No rage over his ruined life, no resentment. 
I was appalled. We collected nearly a hun- 
dred dollars for him in a full meeting, and 
he seemed grateful; though confident that 
nothing could cure him. 

A few days after this meeting at the Lehr 
and Wehr Verein, I called on Lingg in his 
rooms, and got to know him pretty well. He 
had a bedroom and sitting-room on the second 
floor in a comparatively quiet street on the 
East Side; the sitting-room was large and bare; 
the corner near the window, which was hidden 
by the opening door, was furnished with 

[*The workman was right. The Belgian Government has since 
offered a prize for a harmless substitute, and one was found almost 
at once, in thesesquisulphide of phosphorus, which is now generally 
used. Think of the hundreds of deaths, of the human misery that 
might have been avoided if some government had seen this obvious 
duty forty or fifty years sooner: but of course no government cared 
to interfere with the blessed principle of laissez faire, which might 
be translated, "Am I my brother's keeper?" — Note of Editor.] 



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broad pine shelves, and the many bottles gave 
it the look of a laboratory, which, indeed, it 
was. Lingg was not in when I called; but 
Ida was, and we were soon talking about him. 
I told her how his words had stuck in my head, 
and how much he had impressed me and 
interested me. 

"I'm glad," she said; "he needs a friend. ,, 

"I should be proud to be his friend, " I 
assured her warmly, "he's a great man; he 
attracts me immensely." 

"How true that is," she said; "I always 
think great souls draw us more strongly than 
small ones, don't you ?" 

I agreed with her; I was struck by the 
phrase; it seemed to me like a thought of 
Lingg's. 

I think it was on this first visit, or soon after, 
that she showed me a side of her character 
which I should never have divined. She was 
of equable temper, and not lightly to be thrown 
off her balance; yet she kept breaking off the 
conversation to listen for Lingg's step, in a 
fever of suspense. When I rallied her about 
this unwonted excitement I found there was 
no special reason for it; she admitted simply 
that she was anxious. "If you knew him as 
well as I do, you'd be anxious too." And 
again she held her breath and listened. 

She was always willing to talk about Lingg 



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108 



with me, for she recognized, I think, at the 
very beginning with a loving woman's intui- 
tion that I, too, would become devoted to 
him, and so bit by bit I gathered from her 
nearly all Lingg's history. When a mere 
boy of fifteen, in the first year, indeed, of his 
apprenticeship to a carpenter at Mannheim, 
his widowed mother lost all her little income 
through a death. The boy, it appears, had 
chosen his trade himself and would not give 
it up; he simply redoubled his efforts and 
spent all his spare time at work in order to 
keep his mother and himself. He worked so 
hard that the master-carpenter proposed to 
give him a small weekly wage, which he in- 
creased again and again of his own accord. 
" Young Lingg," he used to say, "was worth 
three men to him, and half a dozen appren- 
tices/' The mother, it seems, had this praise 
of Herr Wuermell always on her lips. 

As soon as Lingg was out of his time and 
had saved some money, he announced his 
intention of emigrating, and in spite of a 
dozen good offers to stay in Mannheim, for 
some reason or other he shook the dust of 
Germany off his feet, and came to New York 
with his mother. A few months later he 
brought her from New York to Chicago, for 
her lungs, it appeared, could not stand the 
moist sea-air of Manhattan Island. In Chi- 






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cago at first she seemed to rally; then caught 
cold, and grew rapidly weaker. Lingg did 
everything he could for her; tended her day 
and night during her illness; was nurse and 
son in one. Like most strong and lonely 
natures he gave his confidence to few, and his 
affection gained in intensity through concen- 
tration. He was devoted to his mother, 
would not leave her bedside, even to go out 
with Ida, and when she died he seemed to 
take a dislike to life, and gave himself over to 
melancholy brooding. 

Ida had been seduced by a rich young club- 
man, and when deserted had fallen to the 
streets. There she met Lingg, who was 
struck with her misery and beauty, and gave 
her love and hope; saved her, as she used to 
say, from hell. Ida spoke of her connection 
with Lingg quite as a matter of course, in a 
detached sort of way, as if there were nothing 
unusual in it, nothing to be explained, much 
less excused. I think her love for him was 
so engrossing, her affection so tender and self- 
absorbed, that she could not think of herself 
apart from him. After the death of his moth- 
er she came to live with him. The truth is 
the two were devoted to each other, and united 
in curiously intimate fashion. When Ida 
spoke you heard Lingg's phrases continually. 
I do not mean that she aped him ; but the very 



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tone of his mind had infected her thought 
and speech. Perhaps this was a result of 
their isolation, and the contempt the foolish 
American world has for people living, as they 
lived, outside convention. I have heard Lingg 
say in fun, "There's no union like the union 
of pariahs; wild dogs even pack, only the 
tame brutes live in civilized selfishness, each 
for himself alone !" 

But now, after a long period of happy in- 
timacy, Ida had begun to grow anxious about 
Lingg. "He's taking these strikes to heart," 
she told me, "and any bullying or tyrannical 
use of strength drives him mad . . ." and she 
looked at me, I suppose, to see if I divined 
her meaning. At the time I did not under- 
stand; but in the calm light of memory I see 
it all clearly. Lingg, though infinitely stronger 
and more resolute than Shelley; indeed, partly 
because of his immense strength and resolu- 
tion, resembled the English poet in one es- 
sential. He, too, was 

" the nerve o'er which do creep 

The else unfelt oppressions of mankind." 

And Ida's heart shrank with tragic appre- 
hension of what might happen; or did she 
know, even then, with the sad prescience of 
love? I think she did; but whether I am 
right or wrong in this, at least I myself was 
wholly blind, altogether in the dark, and be- 



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yond being vaguely affected by her fears was 
completely at my ease. 

A little later, after I had got to know Lingg 
well, I met him one day in court: Fischer had 
brought an action against Bonfield, the police- 
man, for injuries; I was one of the witnesses; 
there were three or four of us. We all swore 
the same thing, that Fischer did not touch 
Bonfield; but simply remonstrated with him 
for striking Fielden. Eight or nine police- 
men, however, one after the other, got up and 
swore that Fischer had struck Bonfield, and 
though they admitted that he had no weapon, 
still, the jury chose to believe that Bonfield 
had been struck first and that he had only 
bludgeoned an unarmed man in self-defence. 
The verdict for the police was hailed with an 
unanimous cheer that came as from one throat. 
They cheered a lie, all those hundreds in the 
court, cheered it with one voice, and at the 
same time, cheered the brutality of the police 
— giving the brute, Bonfield, license to go on 
and do worse. 

I do not know what effect that cheer had on 
others; but it roused hell in me, and I turned 
and glared at them — they were trying to make 
outlaws of us. At this moment I caught 
Lingg looking at Bonfield with that flaming 
regard of his; I saw that Bonfield was uneasy 
under it. The next moment Lingg looked 



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down and a little later we came out of the 
court together. 

"An infamous, infamous verdict, ,, I cried. 

"Yes," Lingg agreed, "the prejudice is 
very strong; things will get worse before they 
get better." 

The words conjured up the great room, the 
exultation of the police, the contempt in the 
faces of the bystanders for us poor foreigners 
who were simply trying to get justice. 

I walked on with Lingg; his quiet was 
ominous. "Damn them!" I cried despair- 
ingly. "What can we do?" 

"Nothing," was the answer. "The time 
is not come yet." 

I stared at him, while my heart beat so 
loudly I could hear it. "'Yet,'" I echoed. 
"What do you mean?" He looked at me 
searchingly. 

"Nothing," he said; "let us talk of some- 
thing else. Have you seen Parsons lately?" 

"No," I replied, "I have not; but tell me 
something. Parsons and the rest take it for 
granted that wealth is merely another name 
for robbery, and they deny the rich, or rob- 
bers, even ability. Is that your view of it?" 

He turned to me: "Moderate wealth is 
often honestly earned; still, riches always re- 
present greed rather than capacity. If a 
man has real capacity he must want twenty 



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other things besides money, some of them 
probably more than money, mustn't he ? 
Nearly all the rich men I've known, have 
been cunning and mean, but nothing more. 
No one except some fortunate inventor ever 
made a million honestly." 

"But why are we all suffering so? Can 
the poverty and misery be mended ?" I asked. 

"A great deal of it," he replied; "Germany 
is far healthier and happier than America." 

"That's true," I cried; "but why?" 

"The worst fault in our civilization here," 
said Lingg, "is that it is not complex enough. 
It holds up one prize before all of us — riches. 
But many of us do not want wealth; we want 
a small competency without care or fear. 
We ought to be able to get that as employees 
in some department of State. That would 
remove us from the competition, and tend to 
increase the wages of those who live in the 
whirl of competition. Some of us, too, are 
born students, want to give ourselves to the 
study of this, that, or the other science; there 
ought to be chemical laboratories in every 
street; physical laboratories in every town 
with posts attached at small pay for those 
who would give their lives to the advance- 
ment of knowledge; studios, too, for artists; 
State-aided theatres. Life must be made 
richer by making it more complex. By not 



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reserving whole fields of industry to the 
State, by giving everything to the individual, 
we are driving all men into this mad race for 
riches; hence suffering, misery, discontent, 
the ill-health of the whole organism. The 
brain and heart have their own rights, and 
should not be forced to serve the belly. We 
turn flowers into manure.' ' 

While he was talking of greedy desire as 
the method of fulfilment, I was thinking of 
Elsie, and I suppose he saw that I was not 
following very closely what he said, for he 
broke off, and the talk between us became 
lighter and more detached for some little 
while. 

We reached his rooms, and I picked up a 
book from the table; it was on chemistry, and 
dealt, not with elementary chemistry, but 
with quantitative and qualitative analysis. 
I was not a little astonished. I picked up 
another book treating of gas analysis and 
explosives, and this was well-thumbed. 

"My goodness, Lingg," I exclaimed, "are 
you a chemist?" 

"I have been reading it a little," he replied. 

"A little," I repeated; "but how on earth 
did you get as far as this?" 

"Any one who can read to-day has the 
key," was his answer. 

"I don't know so much about that," I said. 



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"I'd hardly know how to go to work to make 
myself a master-chemist; I should break down 
over some difficulty in the first month." 

Lingg smiled that inscrutable smile of his 
which I was beginning to know. 

"Yet I have had all the advantages," I 
went on. "I was properly taught Latin and 
Greek, and elementary mathematics, and 
science, and shown how to learn. Our educa- 
tion can't be worth much." 

"Your education helps you to learn lan- 
guages, I think; you know American better 
than I do." 

At the time I accepted this statement as a 
very obvious fact; but later I had reason to 
doubt it. Lingg took no colour from his 
surroundings; he spoke American with the 
strongest South German accent, but he knew 
the language astonishingly well; knew words 
in it that I did not know, though he had less 
control of it in speech, perhaps because his 
vocabulary was larger. But at the time I 
accepted his statement. A moment later Ida 
came into the room, and I took up the sub- 
ject of books again. 

"Astonishing thing, books; the greatest plea- 
sure in one's life is reading. And quite a 
modern pleasure. Three or four centuries 
ago only the richest had half a dozen books. 
I remember a princess of the Yisconti in the 



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116 



sixteenth century leaving a large fortune and 
three books in her will. To-day the poorest 
can have dozens of masterpieces." 

"A questionable good," said Lingg. "The 
greatest piece of luck in my life was that 
when my mind began to open I had no 
money to get books. I had to work all day 
at carpentering, and a good part of the night, 
too, to get money to live, and so had no time 
for reading. I had to solve all the problems 
which tormented me for myself. Our educa- 
tion leans too much on books; books develop 
memories, not minds." 

"Would you do away, then," I asked, "with 
Latin and Greek, and all the discipline of the 
mind which they afford ?" 

"I have no right to speak," he said, "as I 
know nothing about them except in transla- 
tions; but I certainly should. Did the Greeks 
study dead languages? Did the study of 
Greek help the Romans to make their lan- 
guage better ? Or did it hurt them ? We 
live too much in the past," he said abruptly. 
"All our lives the past and its fears impede 
and lame us. We should live in the present 
and in the future. I do not know any poetry 
but there is one line of poetry which has stuck 
in my memory — 

1 . . . . Our souls are to the future set, 
By invisible springs' 






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How ignorant that education in mere language 
leaves us, ignorant of all the important things 
of life. We start in life at eighteen or nineteen 
with no knowledge of our own body, and with 
little or no knowledge of our passions and 
their effects. We should all be taught phy- 
siology, the rules of health, of waste and decay 
— that is vital. We should all know some 
chemistry, some physics. The romantic ones 
among us should be taught astronomy and 
the use of the telescope, or else the infinitely 
little and the use of the microscope. We 
should study our own language, German, or 
English. My God! What a heritage those 
English have got, and how they neglect their 
world-speech for a smattering of Greek and 
Latin. . . . 

"But let us come into the air, for to-morrow 
I go to work again on a new job. Won't you 
put on your things, Ida; our holiday time is 
nearly over." 

"Was this your holiday task, then?" I 
asked, touching the book on gas analysis. 
Again the inscrutable regard; he nodded. 

"But why do you want to analyse gases?" 
I went on. "I should have thought that would 
have been too special for you." 

"Oh no," he said lightly; "my idea is that 
you should know something about everything, 
and everything about something. Till you 



ll? 



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push the light of knowledge a little forward 
into the night you've done nothing." 

I gasped. Lingg spoke of widening the 
demesne of knowledge as if that were easy; 
yet why not? We went out into the sunlight; 
it happened to be one of those clear, sun-bathed 
days in an American winter which are so en- 
joyable. We walked along the lake shore 
for miles and miles, but I did most of the 
talking with Ida. Then we had lunch and 
came back home. 

I noticed for the twentieth time Lingg's 
unusual strength; I could not help speaking 
of it once; he took up a heavy chair and handed 
it to me over the table as if it had been a fork 
or a spoon; it astonished me; his body was 
like his mind, of extraordinary power. 

"It's very natural," cried Ida. "He runs 
for a mile or so every morning, and comes in 
drenched with perspiration." 

On our return it was growing dark; they 
both pressed me to go to a theatre and see a 
German play that was being given, a comedy 
by Hartleben, I think; but I could not go. I 
had something better to do, so I said "Good 
evening!" to Ida and Louis at their door and 
hurried off to Elsie. 

On my way to her, I began to puzzle my- 
self, "What does Lingg mean?" In Spies's 
office, at Parsons's meetings, I had heard 



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vague threats, but I paid no further attention 
to them. I knew that Parsons let off all his 
steam in talking and Spies in writing, but 
when Lingg said, "the time is not come yet," 
that "yet" was fraught with menace — was 
awful. My heart beat fast as I recalled the 
quiet, slow words and quieter tone. Then 
the chemistry books, and those pages on 
modern explosives — every formula under- 
lined. By God! if — I felt as if I were in the 
presence of a huge force and waiting for an 
extraordinary impact. 

"Sleep-walking, are you?" cried a voice. 
I turned and found Raben beside me. "I 
saw you in the court," he said; "but you and 
Lingg were on the other side of the room, and 
you disappeared after the verdict; I looked 
for you, but you had vanished. A silly case, 
wasn't it ?" 

"I don't know what you mean," I said; 
"I thought it was a just case, and a disgrace- 
ful verdict." 

"You didn't surely expect an American 
jury to give a verdict against the police and 
in favour of an epileptic like Fischer, did 
you? 

"Yes," I replied, holding on to myself. "I 
expected an honest verdict." 

"Honest," he repeated, shrugging his 
shoulders. "The jury believed ten American 



ill) 



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policemen in preference to four foreigners 
honestly enough." 

"Then I'm a liar?" I turned to him hotly. 

"My dear Schnaubelt," he said, "even you 
can be mistaken; the affirmative, too, is always 
stronger than a negative; the policemen say 
they saw Fischer strike Bonfield. You can 
only say you did not see it; but he may have 
struck him without your seeing it." 

What was the use of arguing; the man knew 
better. I tried to turn the conversation. 

"Are you working for 'The New York 
Herald,' still?" 

"Yes," he replied, "and they like my stuff. 
I had a 'scoop' to-day on that verdict; I 
wired it before the police had finished testify- 
ing; I knew how it would be." He turned to 
me abruptly. "May I speak openly to you ?" 
he asked. 

"Of course," I replied. "What is it?" 

"Well," he began slowly, "don't go about 
so much with that fellow Lingg; he's badly 
looked upon; there are fishy stories about him, 
and he's mad with conceit." 

I was about to break out again; but I would 
not give him the paltry satisfaction of thinking 
he had stirred me. 

"Really," I said gravely; and then, "his 
disease is not catching, is it?" and I laughed 
— genius not being infectious. 



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I caught a gleam in Raben's eye, and felt 
certain of his spite. 

"All right,' ' he remarked coolly; "remem- 
ber I warned you. You know, I suppose, 
that Miss Ida was seduced by Lingg and sent 
on the streets by him — a pretty couple !" 
His tone was more infamous even than his 
words. 

The blood grew hot in my temples; but I 
held to my resolves to show nothing, to give 
the venomous creature no satisfaction. 

"I know all I want to know/' I said care- 
lessly; "but now I must bid you * good-bye," 
and we parted. 

"What a vile snake !" I thought to myself, 
and then wondered was Raben jealous, or 
what was the matter with him ; I did not know 
then that envy and wounded vanity would 
lead a man to worse than slander. I gave 
up the riddle; Raben was vile by nature, I 
decided; but if I had known how vile — per- 
haps it's better that we should not see beyond 
our noses. 

I had promised to meet Elsie; we had ar- 
ranged to meet at least three times during the 
week, and we generally spent the whole of 
Sunday together. It was one of my griefs 
that though I had introduced Elsie to Ida and 
Lingg she would not become friendly with 



1-21 



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them; she disliked Ida for calling herself 
Miss Miller while living openly with Lingg. 

"If she called herself Mrs. Lingg, I should 
not mind so much," she used to say. Elsie 
was always conventional, and was certain to 
be found on the side of the established order. 
Everything exceptional or abnormal seemed 
to her erratic, and in itself evil. Ida, for ex- 
ample, never wore corsets; Elsie wore them 
always; though her lithe figure, little round 
breasts, and narrow hips would have looked 
better unsupported than Ida's more generous 
outlines. 

I often tried to explain to myself this con- 
ventionalism in Elsie, but without result. 
She had as much brains as Ida; sometimes I 
thought her cleverer; she had certainly more 
temperament — was it distrust of her own 
passionate feelings that made her cling to 
accepted rules? 

In any case, it was the shock of contradic- 
tories in her which made her so eternally new 
and attractive to me; the passionate impulses 
in her, beating wave-like against her immutable 
self-control, lent her an infinite enchantment. 
Had she been cold, I should never have cared 
for her; had she given way to passion I should 
have loved her; but never admired her, and 
even my love perhaps would then never 
have been whipped to ecstasy as it was by 



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her perpetual alternation of yielding and 
denying. I had to conquer her afresh every 
time I met her; but this talk of Lingg's about 
the power of mere desire to get its own way, 
influenced me unconsciously, I think, when 
I was with her. 

There was no wilful purpose of seduction 
in me; that I think is often assumed without 
reason; the natural desire is there blindly 
seeking its own gratification; men and wo- 
men are the playthings of nature's forces. 

But whatever the cause I seemed to be 
gradually making way with Elsie. Since I 
had written for the American papers I had 
been earning more money, and this extra 
money enabled me to take her out to dinner 
and the theatre, and to drive her home after- 
wards, which was a special delight to her. 
One night I had had a private room; we had 
dined together and then sat before the fire 
talking. She came and sat on my knees. 
After she had been in my arms for perhaps 
an hour her resistance seemed to be melting. 
Suddenly she stopped me and drew away. 
I could not help reproaching her. 

"If I were rich, you would not leave me." 

"If you were rich," she said, facing me, 
"everything would be easy; it's always easy 
to yield to love." She flushed and stared into 
the fire. A moment later she went on, as if 



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speaking to herself — "How I hate poverty; 
hate it, hate it! I have been poor all my life/' 
she said, sitting on the arm of the chair and 
looking me straight in the eyes. "You don't 
know what that means/' 

"Don't I, indeed?" I interjected. 

She went on — 

"No, you don't know what it means to a 
girl to be poor, mean poor — cent poor, not 
dollar poor — to go to school in winter through 
the snow with icy feet because your boots are 
old and patched, and can't keep out the wet; 
to wake in the night and see your mother 
trying to mend 'em, and crying over 'em. 
By poor, I mean cold always in winter, be- 
cause bread and drippin' and coffee don't 
keep you warm." 

She paused again; I waited patiently, my 
heart hurting me in pity. 

"I was always hungry as a child, always, 
and cold every winter. That was childhood 
to me. When I grew up and saw I was pretty 
and fetched men, do you think I didn't want 
to go to swell restaurants and wear pretty 
frocks ?" 

"I haven't done it because of my mother, 
who's a darling; but is she always to be poor? 
No, sir, not if I can help it, and I'm going to, 
you bet," and she cocked her little round chin 
defiantly. "I'd just die for her, right now; 



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she lives for me. I want to get everything 
nice for her now she's getting on. 

"You mustn't think badly of me; girls want 
money and little comforts more than men; 
we're not so strong, I reckon. I've known 
boys to like fightin' the cold and hunger. I 
never knew a girl who did. I hate 'em 
both. . . . 

"I've seen boys, big boys, men, proud of 
dirty old clothes; put 'em on and like 'em. I 
never saw a girl proud of an ugly old frock, 
never. We want to be nice and dainty and 
comfy more than men." 

She looked so tantalizingly pretty that I 
could not help taking her in my arms, and 
kissing her, and saying to her — 

"But I'll get you all that, and much more, 
and it will be heaps more fun getting it bit by 
bit." 

"And suppose you don't get it? Never 
get it?" said Elsie, holding me away from her. 
"We girls don't want risks. I hate ups and 
downs. I want a comfy house, and nice 
things, always, sure, sure." 

"Are you afraid to risk it?" I asked. 

"It isn't the risk, even of being poor," she 
said. "How do you think I'd feel if I pulled 
you down ? Oh yes, some time or other the 
strain on you might be too much. You might 
get out of work or times would be hard, 



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and you'd be shut out, and then — I should 
feel I'd made it harder for you. And my 
mother? No, sir. Love's the best thing in 
the world, the honey of life; but poverty is 
the worst, the vinegar, and a little vinegar 
soon takes away the taste of the honey. I 
won't be engaged, and I won't yield, for 
that would be the same thing, and you 
mustn't be a tiny bit hurt." 

I was not hurt: to be with her was a per- 
petual intoxication; but I went back to kissing 
her and praising her, as the drunkard goes 
back to his drink, the opium-smoker to his 
pipe, to find life in a higher expression, an 
intenser reality. 

It must not be thought that all this court- 
ing was merely sensuous; the spirit always 
counted as much as the body. Often and 
often I would sit and recite German poems 
to her, translating them into English as I 
went along; little bits of Heine; folk songs, 
the pearls hidden in the rough life of the com- 
mon people, words that spring from the heart 
and are of universal appeal. I remember 
one day making her cry with those simple four 
lines of Heine, which hold in them all the 
heart-ache of life, distilled into pure beauty: 

"Es ist eine alte Geschichte 

Doch bleibt Sie immer neu, 
Unci wem Sie just passieret 

Dem bricht das Herz entzwei." 



126 



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There we sat holding each other like two 
children, while the tears of the world's sorrow 
flooded our eyes. 

In telling the story of my idolatry, the 
tenderness and affection, the passion of ad- 
miration, all the fibres of spiritual attachment 
are difficult to bring into the proper perspec- 
tive, because they were always present, and I 
should only give the effect of monotony if I 
dwelt on them, it seems to me, where there 
was no monotony. 

My passion, on the other hand, was full 
of incidents, and always new. The first 
time I ventured to kiss her neck (it makes me 
flush still to think of it) marks an epoch in 
my life; every liberty gained was an intoxica- 
tion, so that it may seem in telling the story as 
if I gave undue place to passion. 

I don't know why, but her figure awakened 
in me a sort of insane curiosity. Her hands 
were so slim and pretty; I wanted to see her 
feet, and was delighted when I found them 
slim, too, and arched, with tiny ankles. But 
then she drew away from me. 

"That's mean of you, Elsie," I complained. 
"If you deny the one thing, you ought to give 
me as much as you can — please." The ar- 
gument was irrefutable, but another had 
more weight. 

"You are perfectly beautiful, I know, but 



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you hide yourself as if you were ugly — please 
let me, please. Let my eyes have pleasure, 
too, please." The compliment and the plead- 
ing persistence together triumphed, and sooner 
or later I caught a glimpse, or was permitted 
a glimpse of the slim round limbs. She was 
beautifully made, what the French would 
call a fausse maigre; small bones, perfectly 
covered, a slight lissom figure. All my senses 
grew quick, my blood hot; but I knew by this 
time that the cooler I appeared, the more un- 
conscious, the further she would yield. 

Half an hour afterwards she pushed me 
from her suddenly, and rose up and went in 
front of the glass. 

"Look how my face is blazing, sir, and my 
hair is all coming down; we must not meet 
any more. No, I mean it. This must be 
the last time." 

Oh, I knew the words by heart, the terrible 
words which seemed to clamp my heart with 
fear and turn me into a blind beast rage. 
Whenever she felt intensely, had been made 
to feel against her will, she always threatened 
not to come again. I was always in dread 
of losing her, always in greatest dread when 
I had most nearly brought her to complete 
self-surrender; she seemed to avenge her 
own yielding on me, and, poor fool that 
I was, I resented this as unfair. But 



128 



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orm 



somehow or other before parting we nearly 
always made it up again; nine times out of ten 
through my humble submission. I am proud 
to think now that, at any rate, I had sense 
enough to know that yielding and being 
humble, was the only way to complete triumph 
over my proud, imperious beauty. 

It was very hard for me to tell whether I 
was winning her or not. Over a period of three 
months, however, I saw that I had made 
great advances, that what was not permitted 
at first was allowed to me now without ques- 
tion; but often from day to day the waves of 
her submission seemed to ebb. 

One thing was certain, I was falling more 
hopelessly in love with her week by week; 
every meeting made me more devoted to her, 
more and more her slave, or was it the slave 
of my own desire? I could not separate 
them; Elsie was to me desire incarnate. 

As summer came she grew prettier and 
prettier; the light, thin dresses moulded her; 
she was like a Tanagra statuette, I said to 
myself, as beautiful as one of the swaying 
figures on a Greek vase. And I carried the 
fragrance of her lips, and the slim roundness 
of her limbs with me from meeting to meeting. 



129 



Chapter V 



|VTY memory now of the sequence of events 
-**" is perhaps not so good as it might be; 
but having no wish to mis-state the facts, and 
no power of getting at the newspapers which 
might vivify or perhaps distort my memory, 
I shall simply set down my impressions. It 
seems to me that about this time there was a 
certain slackening, both in the revolutionary 
current of feeling, and in the brutality of re- 
pression. A strike of street-car employees, 
which occurred about this time, did not lead 
to anything; these employees were for the 
most part American, and the police never 
attempted to interfere with their public meet- 
ings, or to limit their freedom of speech. 
This wholesome respect of the police for 
people of their own race, naturally caused 
some indignation among us foreigners who 
had never been treated fairly by the authorities; 
but not much. Young men, and most of the 
foreign workmen were young men, are so in- 
clined to hope, that we at once assumed that 
the police had learned wisdom and self-con- 
trol, and that there would be no more blud- 



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geonings, no more brutalities, and so our talks 
at the Lehr and Wehr Verein assumed im- 
mediately a somewhat academic tone. 

One discussion was of my making, and I 
recall it because it shows in what a masterly 
way Lingg's mind worked even when he was 
at every disadvantage. I had talked to him 
one afternoon about the Gorgias of Plato. I 
had always thought that the argument of 
Callicles about laws was the furthest throw 
of Plato's thought, the wisest hypothesis on 
the subject which had come out of antiquity. 
Lingg asked me to set it forth at length that 
evening at the meeting of the Lehr and Wehr 
Verein, and I consented. The argument is 
very simple. Socrates demolishes adversary 
after adversary with ease, till at length he 
comes to Callicles, whom Plato pictures as a 
sort of well-bred man of the world. Socrates 
as usual tries to fly away from the argument 
on a rhetorical statement about the sacredness 
of laws, the same theme which he developed 
later in the Crito, when he declared that the 
laws on this earth are but faint reflections of 
the eternal, divine laws which obtain through- 
out the universe, and throughout eternity, and 
which, therefore should be obeyed. Callicles 
throws a new light on the subject; he says 
that laws are merely made by the weak for 
their own protection. The strong man is not 



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allowed to knock down the weak one and take 
away his wife or his goods, as he would do in 
a state of nature. The laws are a sort of 
sheepfold; walls put up by the weak in their 
own interest and for their own protection 
against the strong; mere class defences which 
are purely selfish, and therefore have nothing 
whatever to do with right and wrong, and are 
in no sense sacred or divine. 

An interesting debate followed, but nothing 
of weight was said on the subject till Lingg 
got up. His very method of speaking had a 
strange individuality about it; he scarcely 
ever used an adjective; his sentences were 
made up of verbs and nouns, and the peculiar 
slowness with which he spoke was due to the 
fact that with a very large vocabulary he was 
resolved upon picking the right word. 

"The argument of Callicles is foolish," 
he said; "how can the weak make defence 
against the strong, the sheep against the wolves. 
Furthermore, laws are not for the protection 
of persons, primarily, as they would be if the 
weak made them; but for the protection of 
property, which is the appanage of the strong. 
Even in this Christian town you can knock 
a man down savagely, injure him for life, and 
go and plead excitement or rage, and pay five 
dollars and a quarter, and you are held to have 
purged the offence. But take five dollars from 



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his person, even without injuring him, and 
you will probably get six months' imprison- 
ment, and the prosecution will be conducted 
by the State. Laws are made for the protec- 
tion of property; they are made by the strong 
in their own interest; the wolf wants to be 
assured peaceable enjoyment of his 'kill." 

Once again the man made a sensation; but 
this time Raben got up and tried to dissipate 
the impression. He talked the usual vapid 
nonsense; laws protected both the weak and 
the strong, and were good in themselves. He 
even quoted a verse of Schiller beginning — 

"Sei im Besitz " 

— a sort of poetic rendering of the common 
American saying, "Possession is nine parts 
of the law," without seeing that Schiller was 
speaking ironically No one, however, paid 
any attention to him or answered him, which, 
of course, enraged him, for he attributed our 
silence to a conspiracy of envy. 

I could not help asking Lingg to explain 
how he hoped for any improvement if it was 
indeed the strong who made the laws in their 
own interest. He answered me at once, having 
perhaps thought the matter over long before, 
for in no other way could I explain the clear 
precision of his statement. 

"At all times," he said, "some of the wolves 
have taken the side of the sheep; partly out 



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of pity, partly out of an intimate conviction 
that they must first lift up the poor if they 
themselves would reach a higher level of ex- 
istence. It even seems to me probable," he 
went on slowly, "that men are gradually 
being drawn upwards and humanized by a 
power working through them, for more and 
more of the strong are taking the part of the 
weak, through an inborn sense of justice and 
fair play. A man's work produces ten times 
as much now as it did before we knew how to 
use steam and electricity; it seems to us that 
the labourer has a right to a part of this extra 
product. And so even those who could take 
it all from him are inclined to leave him a 
little of what he has created." 

He ended up splendidly, as he often did, 
by appealing to the heart. "There is an 
intimate conviction in all of us," he said, 
"that justice is better than injustice, even 
when we seem to profit by the wrong ; generosity 
is its own justification." 

Raben sneered; but Raben was, perhaps, 
the only person who sneered. Mornmsen's 
"Caesar" had had an extraordinary effect 
upon me when I read it as a boy, and when 
Lingg was speaking my thoughts went back 
at once to Caesar. He spoke with strange 
authority, and with a still nobler spirit than 
Caesar's ; but it was the same spirit, the spirit 



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which induced Caesar to pass a law letting off 
all debtors with a payment of three-quarters 
of their indebtedness, and preventing their 
persons being sold for debt. 

It was from this time on that I began to 
realize how great a man Louis Lingg was. 
Whatever the question might be, if he spoke 
at all, he spoke as a master. At the end of 
the debate Raben came up to us and was very 
pleasant; he made himself particularly agree- 
able to Lingg; it struck me as disloyal and 
false of him, and it hurt me that Lingg should 
receive his advances, or appear to receive 
them, in his usual courteous way. 

When w r e got out of the meeting, and were 
on our way home together, Lingg turned to 
me with the question — 

"Why do you bring that man Raben to our 
meetings ? Are you such a friend of his ?" 

I immediately put him right — 

"Raben brought me to the meeting of the 
Lehr and Wehr Verein first of all. He told 
me he was a great friend of yours." 

"I met him," said Lingg, "only once before 
I saw him there with vou in the meeting; he 
came to me as a reporter of 'The New York 
Herald'; I answered his questions, and that 
was all." 

I then told him all I knew of Raben, and 
something foolishly good-natured in me made 



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me paint the man better than he was, paint 
him in high lights and leave out the shadows 
which existed, as I had already reason to 
know. When I think of my folly I could kill 
myself; if I had only told Lingg then the bare, 
simple truth about Raben, things might have 
turned out very differently; but I was foolish- 
ly, feebly optimistic, sentimentally desirous 
of praising the damned creature because he 
was a German, or I thought he was because 
he spoke the language — as if a viper has a 
nationality! And all the while Lingg's deep 
eyes rested on me, searching me, reading me, 
I am sure, rightly. 

When we got home, I went up with them 
as usual for half an hour's talk before going 
back to my rooms, when suddenly Lingg be- 
gan again. 

"You regard Raben as true?" 

"Surely," I exclaimed, "he is with us, I 
suppose ?" 

"Did you notice how he spoke to-night?" 
asked Lingg. (I nodded.) "I mean that 
jargon of American and German which he 
uses. Did you remark how he kept repeat- 
ing two or three words, which serve him as 
adjectives for everything? * Awful' is one, 
in English, 'schaendlich — shameful' is another; 
he immediately translates the German epithet 
into English." 



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I nodded my head, wondering what was 
coming. 

Suddenly Lingg produced a piece of paper. 

"Here is an anonymous letter I got. I do 
not propose to read it, but here are four lines 
in it, and in the four lines there is 'schaend- 
lich — shameful' twice, and * awful' twice. A 
letter denouncing you as a traitor to the cause 
and throwing dirt at me; the man is too ma- 
lignant to be effective." 

He squeezed the letter into a small ball in 
his hand while he spoke, opened the stove 
door and threw it in. As he straightened him- 
self he looked me full in the face, 

"Raben wrote that letter. Be on your 
guard against him." 

"Good God!" I cried. "What do you 
mean?" 

Suddenly the icy-calm seemed to break 

U P— 

"I mean," and again that menace was in 

his voice, "that he is envious of us, of all of 
us, of you, of me, of our good faith, of our 
liking for one another. Look at the thin 
mean face of him, the washed-out hair and 
eyes; something feeble and assertive in the 
whole creature! Let us talk of something 
else." 

And not one word more did he ever say on 
the subject. Thinking it all over, of what I 



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had let Raben say to me about Lingg and 
about Ida, my cheeks blazed with shame. I 
could have killed the foul-tongued snake; I 
wish now that I had. 

All this time Ida said nothing; but her tact 
soon smoothed over the sore place, and brought 
us back to kindly feelings, though she, too, 
felt compelled to say that she had never liked 
Raben, that she felt that Raben was not with 
us, but against us. 

"From now on," I said, "I will take care, 
you may be sure." And so the matter drop- 
ped. . . . 

The lull in the political storm did not last 
long. Almost immediately after the events 
I have talked about, I think some time in 
March, there came a strike among the pig 
packers. Nine out of ten workmen in these 
establishments were Germans and Swedes, 
officered by Americans. The foremen and 
speeders-up, that is, were nearly all Ameri- 
cans, and these foremen took small part in 
the strike. 

The very first meeting of the foreign work- 
men on strike was dispersed by the police, 
and there was some passive resistance on the 
part of the strikers. The police were led by 
a Captain Schaack, who seemed to have model- 
led himself on Bonfield. These strikers were 
not quite ordinary workmen; they were not 



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only young and strong; but they had learned 
the use of knives, and they were not minded 
to be clubbed by the police like sheep. Par- 
sons threw himself into the strike with his 
accustomed vigour, and so did Spies. In his 
weekly paper, Parsons called on American 
workmen to stand by their foreign brothers 
and resist the tyranny of the employers. The 
fighting spirit grew in intensity from hour to 
hour, and the flame of revolt was no doubt 
fanned by "The Alarm" and "Die Arbeiter 
Zeitung." 

I find in reading over what I have already 
written that I have not differenced Parsons 
and Spies sufficiently, though they were in 
reality completely different personalities. Par- 
sons was a man of very ordinary reading, but 
with really great oratorical powers; arguments 
to him were but occasions for rhetoric, and 
he made mistakes in his statements and in 
the sequence of his reasoning, but he had 
genuine enthusiasm; he believed in the Eight 
Hours' Bill for working-men, and a minimum 
wage, and all the other moderate reforms 
which commend themselves to the average 
American workman. 

Spies, on the other hand, was an idealist; 
far better read than Parsons and a clearer 
thinker, but emotional and optimistic to an 
extraordinary degree. He really believed in 



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the possibility of an ordered Socialist paradise 
on earth, from which individual greed and 
acquisitiveness should be banished, and in 
which all men should share the good things 
of this world equally. Blanc's phrase was 
always on his lips, "To each according to 
his needs; from each according to his powers." 

Both Parsons and Spies were in the main 
unselfish, and both spent themselves and 
their substance freely in the cause of labour. 
Parsons was the more resolute character; 
but both of them soon became marked men, 
for at length that happened which from the 
beginning might have been foreseen. 

A meeting was called on a waste space in 
Packerstown, and over a thousand workmen 
came together. I went there out of curiosity. 
Lingg, I may say here, always went alone to 
these strike meetings. Ida told me once that 
he suffered so much at them that he could not 
bear to be seen, and perhaps that was the 
explanation of his solitary ways. Fielden, 
the Englishman, spoke first, and was cheered 
to the echo; the workmen knew him as a 
working-man and liked him; besides, he 
talked in a homely way, and was easy to under- 
stand. Spies spoke in German and was 
cheered also. The meeting was perfectly 
orderly when three hundred police tried to 
disperse it. The action was ill-advised, to 



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say the best of it, and tyrannical; the strikers 
were hurting no one and interfering with no 
one. Without warning or reason the police 
tried to push their way through the crowd to 
the speakers ; finding a sort of passive resistance 
and not being able to overcome it, they used 
their clubs savagely. One or two of the strik- 
ers, hot-heads, bared their knives, and at once 
the police, led on by that madman, Schaack, 
drew their revolvers and fired. It looked as 
if the police had been waiting for the oppor- 
tunity. Three strikers were shot dead on the 
spot, and more than twenty were wounded, 
several of them dangerously, before the mob 
drew sullenly away from the horrible place. 
A leader, a word, and not one of the police 
would have escaped alive; but the leader was 
not there, and the word was not given, so the 
wrong was done, and went unpunished. 

I do not know how I reached my room 
that afternoon. The sight of the dead men 
lying stark there in the snow had excited me 
to madness. The picture of one man followed 
me like an obsession; he was wounded to 
death, shot through the lungs; he lifted him- 
self up on his left hand and shook the right at 
the police, crying in a sort of frenzy till the 
spouting blood choked him — 

"Bestie! Bestie!" ("Beasts! Beasts!") 
I can still see him wiping the bloodstained 



141 



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froth from his lips; I went to help him; but 
all he could gasp was, "Weib! Kinder! 
(Wife, children!) " Never shall I forget the 
despair in his face. I supported him gently; 
again and again I wiped the blood from his 
lips; every breath brought up a flood; his poor 
eyes thanked me, though he could not speak, 
and soon his eyes closed; flickered out, as 
one might say, and he lay there still enough 
in his own blood; " murdered, " as I said to 
myself when I laid the poor body back; "mur- 
dered!" 

How I got home I do not know; but I told 
the whole story to Engel, and we sat together 
for hours with tears in our eyes, and rage and 
hate in our hearts. That night Engel came 
with me to the Lehr and Wehr Verein. Al- 
ready every one knew what had happened; 
the gravity of the occurrence weighed upon 
all of us. One after the other we went through 
the saloon and took seats upstairs, saying 
very little. After we had almost given them 
up, Lingg and Ida came in. To my astonish- 
ment he moved briskly, spoke as usual, called 
the meeting together in his ordinary tone, 
and asked who would speak; evidently he 
knew nothing of the shooting. 

Every one seemed to look at me; it was 
plain that they had heard I was an eye-wit- 
ness, so I got up, and read an account out of 



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a Chicago evening paper. The paper traves- 
tied the facts. "Three or four men have 
been killed, and fifteen or sixteen dangerously 
wounded while resisting the police with 
knives." One policeman, it appeared, had 
had a cut on his arm sewn up — one police- 
man, that was the extent of the resistance. I 
added to the newspaper account a brief report 
of what had taken place. There had been 
passive resistance; but no active resistance 
till men were being clubbed, then I did see 
one or two knives drawn; but immediately, 
before they could be used, the police drew 
their revolvers and shot down unarmed men. 
"They were foreigners," I said, "that was 
why they were shot down. We Germans, 
who have done our share in the making of 
this country, are not to be allowed to live in 
peace in it. These men were murdered," 
and I took my seat, blazing with indignation 
and rage. 

Raben was not present at this meeting; in- 
deed, after his somewhat futile attempt to 
correct Lingg about the laws, he seldom put 
in an appearance at any of our gatherings. 
I think I remember he came once for a few 
minutes. After I sat down Lingg got up, and 
made an extraordinary speech. I wish I 
could report it word for word as he delivered 
it, gravely, seriously, to those grave and 



143 



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serious men who were being driven to ex- 
tremity. 

"Resistance to tyranny is a duty," he be- 
gan. "The submission preached by Christ 
is the one part of His teaching which I am 
unable to accept. It may be that I am a 
pagan; but I do not believe in turning the 
other cheek to the smiter. I remember a 
phrase of Tom Paine, who was the leading 
spirit of the American revolution; he said that 
the English race would never be humanized 
till they had learned in England what war 
was, till their blood had been shed on their 
own hearthstones by a foreign foe. I do not 
believe the insolent strong will ever refrain 
from tyranny till they are frightened by the 
results of tyranny." 

Professor Schwab seemed to be thrown off 
his balance by Lingg's words; every one felt 
that there was something fateful in them; this 
impression was so strong that it seemed to 
have shaken the professor out of all self-control. 
He got up and made a rambling speech about 
the impossibility of doing anything in a de- 
mocracy; the tyrant was hydra- headed; we 
had overthrown kings and set up the people, 
and King Log was worse than King Stork, so 
he counselled patience and education, and 
sat down. -Lingg would not have this, and 
took up his speech again — 



144 



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"No one should imagine that society is 
able with impunity to do wrong; tout se paie 
— every evil is avenged; though it does look 
as if a large community could commit wrongs 
which would put an end to the existence of a 
smaller body. . . . 

"But surely the true lesson of history is the 
growth of the individual as a force. Every 
discovery of science," he went on, with a 
thrill of triumph in his strong voice, "strength- 
ens the individual. In the past he had one 
man's life in his hand; a single oppressor 
could always be killed by a single slave." 
The whole meeting seemed to shiver with 
apprehension. "But now the individual has 
the lives of hundreds in his hand, and some 
day soon he will have the lives of thousands, 
of a whole city, then they will cease to do 
wrong, the tyrants, or cease to exist." 

He had not raised his voice above the usual 
tone; his speech was even slower than usual, 
yet I remember certain of his words as if I 
heard him speaking now. There was an 
extraordinary passion in his speech, an ex- 
traordinary menace in his whole person, a 
flame in the deep eyes. The words of this 
man seemed like deeds; frightened one like 
deeds. 



145 



Chapter VI 



A MORNING or two later I was sur- 
** prised by a little letter from Ida Miller, 
in which she asked me to come and see her 
some morning soon, "if possible on Wednes- 
day next; he will be out then; I want to con- 
sult with you. Say nothing to any one of 
this." 

What did it mean? I asked myself in 
wonder. What could Ida want to see me 
about, and why did she want to see me while 
Lingg was away ? I puzzled my brains in 
vain; but the cares and anxieties of the day 
and hour absorbed me, and I forgot the letter 
for the moment; I just noted on my almanac 
that I was to call on her the next Wednesday 
at noon. 

In truth, weightier matters would have been 
put out of one s head by the growing excite- 
ment in the city. It really seemed to us as if 
the American population had gone mad — 
or were we perhaps misjudging the people 
because of the newspapers? No one could 
deny that the newspapers were hysterically 
insane; they went on whipping up the passions 



146 



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of their readers day after day, hour after hour. 
If one had not known that newspapers in- 
crease their circulation in troubled times and 
periods of general excitement, one could not 
have understood the ape-like malevolence 
they displayed. When they were not brag- 
ging and attributing the highest virtues to 
themselves, they were running down foreigners 
and foreign workmen as if we had been of a 
lower race. The fond imaginings of the 
journalists were the reverse of the truth, and 
this fact contained in itself the seed of danger. 
The foreigners were outnumbered six to one, 
and disunited by differences of race and re- 
ligion and language; but whatever original 
political thinking was done in the town was 
done by them. Intellectually they were the 
superiors of the Americans among whom they 
lived. It was brute force against brains, the 
present and the oppressors against the dis- 
possessed and the future. It was the in- 
tellectual honesty and clearsightedness of the 
foreigners which gave them strength and made 
them a force to be reckoned with. Day by 
day they won adherents among the American 
workmen; day by day they grew in power and 
influence, and the understanding of this was 
what maddened the authorities against them. 
It was Spies who really ended the strike, 
and at the same time concentrated public 



14" 



The Bomb 



attention on himself, and incidentally on 
Parsons. He published an article in the 
"Arbeiter Zeitung" in German, written by a 
German workman, which contained almost 
incredible tales of dirt and filth of the pork- 
packing establishments. "The workers were 
always above their soles in blood," he wrote, 
"and this blood was swept off the floors down 
shutes and utilized in sausages." The ac- 
count was made up of such details; but it had 
little effect till Parsons got it translated into 
English, and published it in "The Alarm." 
I did the translation, and I went out for Par- 
sons immediately and interviewed five or six 
more of the strikers, and put in their accounts, 
by way of corroboration. One fact which I 
discovered was quoted everywhere as horror's 
crown. It had come under my notice in one 
of my visits to a pork-packing establishment. 
As their throats were cut the pigs were plunged 
into a bath of very hot water in order to 
loosen their bristles, so that they could easily 
be scraped off. Thousands of pigs passed 
through this boiling bath daily; long before 
midday it was fetid, stinking with blood and 
excrement; but no one paid any attention; the 
carcasses fell into the revolting mixture and 
were supposed to be washed clean by the 
contact with nameless filth. At any rate, that 
was all the washing they ever got; they were 



148 






The Bomb 



hacked up at once into flitches, hams, sides, 
and so forth, and thrown steaming into the 
brine barrels, ready for sale. But even this 
was not the worst of the matter. Fresh water 
was supplied each day; but the baths them- 
selves were only cleaned out when the ac- 
cumulation of filth in the bottom and round 
the sides made a clearance imperatively neces- 
sary. So long as only the food suffered, and 
the health of the workmen, nothing was done. 
The baths stank for weeks in summer, and 
no one paid any attention to the fever-breed- 
ing filth. " Pork-packing ain't a perfumery 
store," was the remark of a millionaire packer, 
who thought the matter could be disposed of 
in that comforting way. 

The American newspapers could not afford 
to leave us this field; they, too, sent out re- 
porters, who supplied them with other details 
of the way food was being prepared, sickening 
details, incredibly revolting, and soon the 
town was ringing with the scandal. The 
better American sheets called upon the Govern- 
ment to see that the inspectors did their duty 
and protected the consumers; but there is no 
doubt in my mind that the publication of the 
facts brought the strike to an end quicker than 
anything else could have done. The em- 
ployers saw that it was more profitable to 
yield to the demands of the strikers than lose 



149 



The Bomb 



their sales through the exposure of their 
filthy, careless methods. 

All this led to a discussion in the Lehr and 
Wehr Verein, in which Lingg took the ground 
that the mediaeval laws against the adultera- 
tion of food and of many other things, would 
have to be brought into force again. " There 
is far too much individual liberty in America,' ' 
was his text. " Professor Schwab has already 
given us the scientific reasons for it; but this 
freedom of the individual must be restrained, 
when it comes to giving us soda instead of 
wheat for bread, filth from the floors instead 
of wholesome meat. We shall have to restrain 
the ruthless competition in a hundred ways." 

We were all agreed that there should be a 
minimum wage established by the State, an 
eight-hour day, and even the right to work; 
Lingg insisted that the workman who claimed 
this right should be paid by the municipality 
or by the State the minimum wage, what he 
called a living wage. Government work, too, 
he declared, should come as little as possible 
into competition with work directed by the in- 
dividual; Government work should be for the 
welfare of all — the extension of roads, affores- 
tation of waste places, and so on. I only 
mention this to show the man's innate modera- 
tion and practical wisdom. 

As soon as the strike was over everyone 



150 






The Bomb 



seemed to wipe it from memory ; nobody cared 
for the three or four people killed, or the twen- 
ty poor foreigners who had been wounded. 

On the Wednesday morning I went to 
Lingg's rooms. Ida met me at the door; I 
was quite cheerful. We talked for a few 
minutes the usual nothings; but all the time 
there was a constraint in her; she was talking, 
as it were, from the lips outwards, not 
saying what she meant; at last I faced the 
music. 

"What is the matter, Ida ?" I asked. " Why 
did you send for me?" 

She looked at me at first, and did not answer; 
she seemed troubled, and wanted sympathy, 
wanted me perhaps to divine the answer; 
but though sympathetic, I could not guess her 
secret. I pressed her to tell me what w T as the 
matter. 

"Our anxieties are always greatest,' ' I 
said, "when we do not talk about them. 
Once talked about they grow less. Tell me 
what it is." 

"There is nothing certain," she said; "that 
is, I cannot convince you that there is any 
imminent danger; but there is. You know 
Louis is against marriage; talks of it as an 
invention of the priesthood, a means of filling 
their pockets, like all the other sacraments. 
The other night when we came home after 



151 



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your account of the shooting, Louis told me 
that in the present state of things he was 
wrong; he thought we ought to get married 
at once." 

She looked at me with appealing eyes; her 
lips were trembling; I saw she was over- 
wrought; I almost smiled; it did not appear 
to me to be very serious one way or the other; 
but she went on — 

"It frightened me; he has not altered his 
opinions, nor changed in any way; he was 
thinking of me, and wants us to be married 
at once. Don't you understand? At once! 
That is because he feels that soon he will be 
no longer here. Oh, Rudolph, I'm frightened 
half to death; I can't sleep for fear," and the 
sweet face quivered pitifully. 

"What do you mean?" I cried. But even 
while I spoke I began to fear she was right. 
Of course I tried to cheer her up; tried to 
show her that her fears were exaggerated; 
but I did not convince her, and bit by bit her 
fears infected me, began to give shape and 
meaning to my own vague dread. 

"Perhaps," I said to myself, "Lingg's words 
seem like deeds, have the weight of deeds, 
because they are closely related to deeds, 
because he means to make good. That 
would explain everything"; and as the con- 
viction struck me, I shivered, and we looked 



152 



The Bomb 



at each other, a nameless fear in both our 
minds. 

Suddenly, as if unable to control herself 
any longer, or perhaps excited by my sympa- 
thy, she burst out, her long white hands ac- 
centuating her words — 

"Oh, if you knew how I love him, and how 
happy I've been in his love. It's nothing to 
say *I am his.' I am part of him; I feel as 
he feels, think as he thinks; he has given me 
eyes to see with, and courage to live or die 
with him; but not without him. If you knew 
where I was when he met me. Ah, what a 
man! I had been fooled and deserted, and 
didn't care what became of me, and he came, 
and oh, at first I scarcely dared hope for his 
love, and he gave like a king, without count- 
ing. How kind he is and strong. . . . 

"You know men and women are much 
alike; we women at any rate all pretend not 
to feel any sex-attraction save towards the 
man we love; but in reality we often feel it. 
We love a man for instance who is quick and 
passionate and virile, but when we meet a 
man who is slow and strong and domineering 
our soft flesh feels the force in him, and we 
cannot restrain our liking. The flesh is 
faithless in woman as in man; though we 
control it better. But since I met Lingg my 
flesh even has been faithful to him. I desire 



153 



The Bomb 



nothing but him, my body is as loyal to him 
as my soul. He is my soul, the vital principle 
of me. I cannot live without him. I will not. . . 

"I am so happy, I hate to give it all up. I 
know it's vile and base of me : I ought to think 
of those others who suffer while we enjoy; 
but love is so sweet, and we are so young; we 
might have each other a little longer, don't 
you think? Or is that very selfish of me?" 
And the luminous, lovely, wet eyes appealed 
to me. I had never been so shaken. I 
could not say, " You are exaggerating." I could 
frame the words, but could not utter them. 
She was so sincere and so certain that she 
lifted me to truth. I could only look in her 
face with unshed tears, and nod my head. At 
times life is appalling — more tragic than any 
imagining. 

"We must trust him," I said at last. Out 
of my sympathy with her the words came, 
and at once they seemed to help her. 

"Yes, yes," she cried, "he knows how a 
woman loves love; he will not be hard on me, 
but he is very hard on himself," she added 
with trembling lips, "and that is the same 
thing." 

"Life is not gay for any of us," was all my 
wisdom found; "you are rarely lucky ever to 
have found such complete love, such perfect 
happiness." 



154 



The Bomb 



Again I had struck the right note by chance. 
She nodded her head, and her eyes cleared. 

" I wish I could have one day," I went on, 
"like the months you have had." 

"With Elsie?" she asked, smiling, and as I 
was about to say "Yes," Lingg came into the 
room. He shook hands with me, showing 
no trace in his manner of astonishment, em- 
barrassment, or misgiving. 

"It is good to see you," he said simply as 
he went over to the table, and put down some 
books that he had brought in. "Did Ida 
send for you ?" and his eyes probed mine a 
moment. "I mean," he went on more light- 
ly, "there is a sort of coincidence in the matter, 
for I wanted to see you to-day. It is such a 
fine day, and I have been working very hard. 
Why not let us go out and have a holiday ? 
Takesomething to eat with us,Germanfashion, 
sausages, beer, bread, and a potato salad, echt 
Deutsch, eh ? and eat in a boat on the lake." 

He seemed in a radiant good-humour, 
strangely light-hearted. Looking at him, all 
my fears vanished, and I immediately backed 
up the project with all my heart. I, too, had 
been over-working, and wanted a holiday; so 
we began to get the things together, packing 
up the eatables in a little hamper. Lingg 
allowed me to carry the basket, I noticed, 
though it was his usual custom to carry every- 



155 



The Bomb 



thing himself. He would walk apart from 
us, too, though he usually walked between 
us. Why do I remember all these things so 
clearly, though I do not think I remarked any 
of them at the moment ? 

We went down to the lake shore and en- 
gaged a row-boat, and the man who hired 
us the boat wanted to come with us, or to 
send a boy with us; but Lingg would not hear 
of it. 

"Give us a good safe boat," he said, "your 
broadest, safest boat; put in a good life-belt, 
too, because we are unused to the water, and 
we want to enjoy ourselves without being 
afraid of capsizing." 

The American laughed at us, thinking we 
were silly Dutchmen, and gave us the boat 
we asked for, a broad, heavy barge of a thing. 
Lingg told Ida to go and sit in the stern-sheets 
and steer, and then put me on the after-thwart 
to row a pair of sculls, and went with a pair 
of sculls himself into the bow. He left a 
thwart between us unoccupied. That, too, 
I remember distinctly, though at the time I 
did not notice it. 

When we pushed off and began to row, I 
thought that Lingg meant to get half a mile 
or so out, perhaps a mile, and then eat; but 
he rowed on steadily. At last, I turned 
round to him — 



1/56 



The Bomb 



"Look here, Lingg, I want something to 
eat. When are we to have dinner ?" 

He simply smiled. 

"When we can no longer see the city," 
and bent to the oars again. We must have 
rowed for two hours and a half, must have 
made seven or eight miles out into the lake, 
before I put down the sculls and said — 

"I say, Lingg, do you want to row across 
the Lake? Or do you call this pleasure to 
work us like slaves, and give us nothing to 
eat?" 

At once he came back to me on the after- 
thwart, and we had our meal, and I tried to 
make merry; but Lingg was always rather 
silent, and to-day Ida was silent, too, and 
nervous; she upset things, and was evidently 
overwrought. When we had finished the 
simple meal, and put away the things, I pro- 
posed to row back, but Lingg said "No," 
and then got up on the after- thwart and stood 
there looking towards Chicago. When he 
stepped down again he said — 

"Not a thing to be seen except this"; and 
he took a sort of boy's catapult out of his 
pocket. 

"What on earth's that for?" I asked. 

"To try this," he answered, and he took a 
little ball of cotton-wool out of his trousers 
pocket, and, stripping the cotton off, dis- 



157 



The Bomb 



covered a round ball, about the size of a wal- 
nut. 

"What may that be ?" I asked laughingly; 
but as I laughed I caught a glimpse of Ida's 
face, and again the fear came back, for she 
was leaning forward staring at Lingg with 
parted lips, and all her soul in her wide eyes. 
He said — 

"That is a bomb, a small bomb, which I 
am going to try." 

"Good God!" I exclaimed, astounded so 
that I could not think or feel. 

"I want the catapult," he went on, "to 
throw it some distance from the boat, because 
I think that if I threw it with my hand it might 
wreck the boat, and we might have to try to 
swim back to shore. Whereas, this catapult 
will throw it twice as far as I could, and we 
shall see the results of it, and be able to gauge 
them pretty accurately." 

I do not suppose I am more of a cov^ard 
than other men; but his quiet words terrified 
me. My heart was in my mouth, I could not 
breathe freely, and my hands were cold and 
wet. I said — 

"Do you mean it, Lingg?" 

The inscrutable eyes rested on me, searched 
me, judged me, and against their condemna- 
tion my pluck seemed to come back to me, 
and my blood began to flow again. That was 



158 



The Bomb 



the terrible thing about Louis Lingg: he judged 
you by what there was in you; he liked you, 
or admired you, for the qualities you possessed, 
and absolutely refused to attribute to you 
qualities which you did not possess. To 
know him was a perpetual tonic. I would 
not let him see I was afraid, I'd have died 
sooner. 

I am honestly trying to tell exactly what 
went on in me, because in comparison with 
Lingg I look upon myself as merely an ordi- 
nary man, and if I did things that ordinary 
men do not do and cannot do, it is because 
of Lingg's influence on me. 

As the spirit came back to me, and the 
blood rushed through my veins in hot waves, 
I could see that his eyes were kindlier; they 
rested on me with approval, and I was in- 
tensely proud and lifted up in soul because 
of it. 

" Shall we try the bomb," he said, "or are 
you frightened that we may have to swim?" 

"I will trust your judgment," I said care- 
lessly. "I expect you know about what it 
will do. But when did you make it?" 

"I began working a year ago," he said, 
"when the police began to use their clubs, 
and I have gone on ever since." In a flash 
I remembered the chemistry books, and all 
was plain to me. 



159 



The Bomb 



"I had no business to bring you with us," 
he said, turning to Ida. "It will be too much 
for your nerves?" he questioned gently. 

She looked at him with all her love in her 
shining eyes, and shook her head. 

"I have known about it for months past," 
she said — "months. You made it two months 
ago in your little shop by the river." 

And these two strange beings both smiled. 
The next moment Lingg had put the bullet 
in the catapult, and drawn the india-rubber 
out to arm's length and let go. The eyes 
followed the black bullet in its long curve 
through the air. As it reached the water 
there was a tremendous report, a tremendous 
shock; the water went up in a sort of spout, 
and even at thirty or forty yards distance the 
boat rocked and almost capsized. For min- 
utes afterwards I could not hear. I began 
to be afraid I was permanently deaf. How 
could so small a thing have such enormous 
force? The first thing I heard was Lingg 
saying — 

"If we had been standing up we should 
have been thrown down; as it was I had to 
hold on to the side of the boat." 

"Surely," I said, "the noise will have been 
heard in the town?" 

"Oh, no," said Lingg, "the explosion is 
rapid, the blow very quick, so that it does 



160 



The Bomb 



not carry so far as the slower pushing 
blow of powder; the high explosive gives a 
greater shock near at hand; but the blow 
does not spread over nearly so large an 



area." 



"It was dynamite, wasn't it?" I asked, 
after a little reflection, when the deafness 
was beginning to wear off. 

"No," Lingg answered; "a much more 
powerful agent." 

"Really!" I exclaimed. "I thought dyna- 
mite about the strongest." 

"Oh, no," Lingg replied, "dynamite is 
nothing but nitro-glycerine mixed with Kie- 
selguhr, in order to allow it to be handled 
easily; nitro-glycerine mixed with nitro-cotton 
is called blasting gelatine, and is much stronger 
than dynamite. But the percussion of a 
small quantity of fulminate of mercury em- 
bedded in nitro-glycerine produces an enor- 
mously greater effect than the explosion of 
either substance by itself. And there are 
more powerful explosives than nitro-glycerine. 
My little bomb," he went on, as if talking to 
himself, "is as powerful as fifty times its 
weight of dynamite." 

"Good God!" I exclaimed; "but what was 
it made of ?" 

"All high explosives," he said, "contain 
a lot of oxygen and some nitrogen . . . but do 



K)l 



The Bomb 



let's talk of something else," he broke off, 
"it's too long a story. ..." 
Suddenly Ida said to Lingg — 
"I want to throw the first bomb, Louis." 
He shook his head. "It's not woman's 
work," he said, "and I still hope there will be 
no bomb-throwing needed." 

Now what prompted me to speak, I cannot 
tell ; I suppose it was vanity, or rather a desire 
to gain Louis Lingg's approval. I suddenly 
heard myself saying — 

"Let me throw the first bomb." 
Lingg looked at me, and again my blood 
warmed under the kindly approval of his gaze. 
"It is a terrible thing to do," he said. "I 
am sure a woman would break down under 
it; I am afraid you would break down too, 
Rudolph." 

"But you?" I asked. 

"Oh," he replied carelessly, "I think I 
have always known that I was born to do 
something of this sort. There is a passage 
in the Bible which struck me when I first 
heard it as a boy, which has always lived with 
me. I did not read much of the Bible, and 
I did not pay much attention to what I did 
read. The Old Testament seemed to me 
poor stuff, and only the Gospels moved me 
much; but that word has always lived 
with me. It is something like this: 'It is 



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expedient that one man should die for the 
people . . . .' 

"We Germans dream too much, and think 
too much; for a generation or two we should 
act. We are far ahead of the rest of the 
world as thinkers; it now remains for us to 
realize our thoughts and to show the rest of 
the world that in deeds, too, we can surpass 
them. 

"I had a dreadful childhood; perhaps I 
will tell you about it some day," he went on. 
"They heat the steel in the furnace and then 
plunge it in icewater in order to make a 
sword-blade. I think I was subjected to 
extremes of pain and misery — for some pur- 
pose," he added the last words slowly. In 
spite of its clearness, his mind just touched 
mysticism. He felt a purpose in things — 
his star and fate one with the whole. He 
seemed lost in thought for a moment, and then 
resumed in his accustomed clear way — 

"The only good thing in your offer, and it 
is a great offer," he smiled at me, "is that it 
would multiply the effect of us both tenfold. 
I could save you, too, the first person to 
throw a bomb, and reserve myself for the 
second when there will be no saving. You 
see, one bomb is an accident; two show se- 
quence, purpose; suggest a third and fourth 
— are terrifying. I know the fat trades- 



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men; they'll hide under the beds with fear." 
Again the man terrified me, again I heard 
myself talking, assenting, felt myself grinning; 
but my senses were numbed, paralysed, by 
the awful reality of the talk, or the unreality 
of it, whichever you please; my thinking and 
feeling faculties all seemed dead; the shock 
had been too great for me. I moved as in a 
dream; in a dream, when he went to his 
thwart and took up the sculls, I went to mine 
and took up the sculls too, like an automaton, 
and in almost complete silence we rowed back 
to Chicago. . . . 

The short spring day was over, the sun 
went down before we got back; night came 
with her shadows, her merciful, shrouding 
shadows, and hid us as we rowed up to the 
wharf. As the Yankee received the money, 
something in his quaint, sharp accent recalled 
me to reality; but I had no wish to talk, I was 
drained of emotions, and I accompanied the 
others home in a sort of waking dream. At 
the door Lingg sent Ida upstairs, and turned 
to walk with me towards my rooms. 

"Put all this out of your head," he said to 
me; "it has overstrained you. Perhaps the 
troubles will settle down, perhaps the police 
will come to some sense of humanity. I hope 
so. In any case, I do not take your offer 
seriously. I need not say I trust you; but it 



164 



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is not well to try to do more than one can 
do," and he smiled at me with loving-kindness 
in the deep eyes. From that moment we 
were intimates. I felt that in some strange 
way he knew my weakness as well as I knew 
it, and would never ask me for more than I 
could give, and this filled me with loving 
gratitude to him; but I felt also that same 
wild exhilaration in the heart of me, knowing 
well that I was always willing to give more 
than he asked, more than he expected. 



165 



Chapter VII 



ALL these experiences in the strikes and 
with Lingg had not only taken me 
away from Elsie, prevented me spending 
much time with her, but they had alienated 
me from her to a certain extent. We had 
gone on meeting two or three times a week, 
but I was always occupied with the events of 
the social war, with the emotions and sensa- 
tions which the wild struggle called to life in 
me, and with the demands the incidents made 
upon my time and thought. Before this 
period came to an end, I noticed that my posi- 
tion with Elsie had improved. As I seemed 
to draw away from her and to be a little less 
her slave, she became kinder to me, less im- 
perious, and as soon as I noticed this a tinge 
of contempt mingled with my love for her. 
Was she indeed like all the other girls whom I 
had read of who ran away if you ran after 
them, and who ran after you if you ran away ? 
I was not like that, I reflected; I desired her 
above everything in the world; but then the 
thought would not be denied that when she 
was imperious and difficult she attracted me 
most intensely. There is not a pin to choose 



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between us, I reluctantly admitted; human 
nature in man or woman is not differenced 
widely. 

But the fact that self-possession, self-mastery 
did me good in Elsie's eyes and strengthened 
my influence over her enormously, was per- 
haps the real gain in the somewhat casual in- 
tercourse of these few weeks. The last time 
I had seen her she had flushed with pleasure 
when we met, and when we parted she kissed 
and clung to me as if she wished to show her 
passion. "You will come to-morrow, won't 
you?" she asked. This called to life a sort 
of mocking contrary devil in me, and I ans- 
wered with careless courtesy — 

"I will come on Saturday and take you for 
a w r alk — if I possibly can," I added. 

"I will wait in and be ready," she replied 
quickly. 

That Saturday afternoon was bright and 
hot, I remember, and our steps turned natural- 
ly towards the lake shore, for the asphalt 
was soft, and the smell of it overpowering. 
One would almost have done anything to 
avoid those hot shafts of light reflected from 
the pavement and buildings; they blinded 
one. I did not wonder that Elsie said pet- 
tishly — 

"I hate walking. To-day is the day for 

d» >> 
rive. 



16' 



The Bomb 



I had intended merely to go into the park 
and lie about; but the moment she said this I 
thought of the boat, and it gave a purpose to 
me. 

"I am going to take you for something 
better than a drive," I said. 

"What is it ?" she asked, her eyes sparkling. 

"I will tell you within quarter of an hour/' 
I said, and she walked on towards the boating 
place, chattering of all she had done in the 
past fortnight. She was delighted, it appeared, 
for the manager had made much of her, was 
pleased with her work, and had given her a 
rise in wages. I was a little jealous, I re- 
member, vaguely jealous though pleased for 
her sake that she had got a better position. 
The unworthy spirit soon vanished, however, 
for her provocative, saucy beauty had a 
warmth of tenderness about it that thrilled 
me with delight, bathed my heart in joy, and 
banished all thought of rivalry. 

In a few minutes we came to the landing- 
stage, and before the Yankee had time to ask 
me what I wanted, Elsie cried out in wild 
excitement — 

"It's just lovely of you! I'd like a row on 
the cool water better than anything." 

"Let us have a broad, safe boat," I said, 
and the Yankee picked us out a tub of a thing. 

" You'll find it hard rowing in that, if you 



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want to go far." was his remark, "though it 
ain't so hot on the water as on land, by a long 
way; but the boat's safe as a barge." 

I did not intend to pull as far as I had pulled 
with Lingg, so I took the boat he offered me, 
and after settling Elsie in the stern-sheets 
and showing her how to use the steering lines, 
I rowed out into the lake for half an hour or 
so, and then went and threw myself in the 
bottom of the boat at her feet. She looked 
at me half shyly, with love's confession in 
the eyes that hardly dare to meet mine. 

"Isn't it rather strange?" she said to me. 
"A month ago I made up my mind again and 
again not to meet you: said I wouldn't: told 
you I wouldn't. And when I was away by 
myself I used to begin by saying, 'I don't 
think we ought to go on meeting; it's not 
right, and I'm not going to, anyway.' But 
'it's not right' simply meant, I think, 'I don't 
want to very much,' for now when you haven't 
come once or twice I have just wanted you 
ever so bad; now, don't be conceited, or I'll 
not tell you another thing." 

Naturally at this avowal I slipped my arm 
round her hips and looked up in her face. 
Her eyes still avoided mine. At first Elsie 
liked me, I think; but love came with com- 
panionship, and she was now as much in 
love as I was, lost in the transfiguring glamour. 



1(H) 



The Bomb 



"We are alone here, aren't we, Boy," she 
went on, "more alone than in a room or any- 
where; just our two selves between sky and 



sea." 



I agreed with her, and she went back to 
her original theme. 

"I didn't want to go on meeting you, be- 
cause I thought I did not care really, and that 
you did care, and now it seems as if I had 
grown to care more, and so, just as I used to 
reason against you, now I am always reason- 
ing for you. Isn't that strange ?" And the 
divine eyes lifted shyly for a moment. 

I put my face up to her and her lips drooped 
on mine: her tender abandonment was simply 
adorable. 

"Love calls forth love, Elsie," I said, "as 
'deep calls unto deep.'" 

"Besides," she began, with a quick change 
of mood, "you have altered a great deal, you 
know. When we first met you were, oh, so 
German; you spoke American comically, and 
you had all sorts of little German ways, and 
now you speak American as well as I do. 
You seemed a little soft then, and very — sen- 
timental; now you are stronger, more res- 
olute. . . . 

'You are very well educated, aren't you? 
Much better even than our college boys. 
You ought to get on, you know," and she 



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looked quite excited and eager; but another 
wave of reflection swept over her, and her lips 
drooped pathetically. 

"But to get on far will take ten or twelve 
years, and what shall I look like in ten years ? 
I shall be an old hag. Fancy me twenty-nine! 
and if I married you now, you'd never get 
through. I'd keep you poor. Oh, I'm a- 
fraid, I'm afraid! . . . 

"You mustn't, Boy! Please don't or I'll 
get cross," she broke in, for I had begun 
kissing her arm with little slow kisses which 
left flushes like roseleaves on the exquisite 
skin; but in return for my imploring look 
she bent down and kissed me, as she alone 
could kiss. 

Then we began talking of this and that, 
forming little plans of what might be, plans 
which would bring us together. I used to 
be the castle-builder; but lately Elsie had 
begun to build castles, too, or rather, cosy 
little houses, which seemed nearer than my 
castles, and certainly more enticing. But 
now I talked with some certainty of a secure 
post on an American paper, for Wilson, the 
editor of the "Post," was willing to give me 
a steady berth, where I could reckon on earn- 
ing at least eighty dollars a month, and that 
was surely enough for all of us; but she shook 
her prudent little head, till I drew her down 



171 



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from her seat into my arms, and there we sat 
with our arms round each other and lips given 
to lips. After a while she drew herself away 



again. 



"Oh, we ought not to meet," she said; 
"we ought not to meet like this. You smile, 
you bad boy, because I'm always saying that; 
but I mean it this time. When I said it be- 
fore, we didn't care really ; but now it's different. 
Oh, I know. . . . Each time we meet, you want 
me more, and as you want me more and more, 
I find it harder to refuse and deny myself to 
you. Every time, too, the joy of yielding 
tempts me more and more, and I'm beginning 
to get afraid of myself. If we go on meeting 
and kissing, some day I'll yield; it's human 
nature, Boy, or girl's nature, and then I'd 
just hate myself and you, too; I'd kill myself, 
I think. I hate giving way, bit by bit, out of 
weakness, and doing something I don't want 
to do; it humiliates me!" 

All this time I let her talk, and went on 
kissing and caressing her. Something of 
Lingg's steady purpose had got into me. 
Speech is often a veil of the soul, and my 
patience and persistent desire drew us to- 
gether more surely than any words. Day by 
day I was more masterful, and Elsie was more 
yielding than she had been, nearer to com- 
plete self-surrender. 



172 






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I simply went on kissing her, therefore, til] 
of a sudden again she drew away resolutely, 
and threw her little head back and took a long 
breath. 

"Oh, you bad boy! Why do you tempt 
me?" 

"You don't care for me much," I said, 
looking in her eyes with dumb appeal, "so 
you needn't talk of temptation; you don't 
care enough for me to yield a little bit." 

"More than you think, Boy," she said, 
giving herself to me for a moment in a look; 
but the next instant she got up, nevertheless, 
with proud resolution, shook her skirts out 
with a rueful pout at the way the muslin was 
crushed and tumbled, and sat down again in 
the stern-sheets. 

I let her go. After all, what right had I to 
tempt her, or to go on caressing her? What 
right? At any time Lingg might call on me, 
and I felt sure I should respond, and all hope 
of love and a happy life with Elsie were blotted 
out in one black gulf of fear. No, I would 
restrain myself; and I did on that occasion, 
though it cost blood. 

I had already noticed that every caress, 
innocent though they were for the most part, 
was a permanent advance. She had let me 
catch a glimpse of her limbs once; she could 
not refuse me the next time. In truth, it was 



173 



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harder and harder for her to refuse me any- 
thing, for love was on her, too, with its im- 
perious desire. In spite of my determination 
not to go any further, certainly not to com- 
promise her in any way, we seemed to be on 
a fatal slope; every little movement took us 
further down, and it was impossible to go 
back. I do not know whether Elsie realized 
this as clearly as I did; sometimes now I am 
inclined to believe that she understood even 
better than I whither the road led. 

But that day, I am glad to think, I put the 
bridle on myself resolutely, and yielded no 
whit to the incessant tormenting desire. And 
if Elsie had rewarded me for my self-restraint 
by showing me increased tenderness, perhaps 
I should have persevered in the narrow, diffi- 
cult way. But she did not; she seemed to 
think I had taken offence at her resolution, 
so she sulked a little in reply to my unwonted 
coldness, and that I simply could not stand, 
so I kissed her into a good humour and thanked 
goodness that the April sun had almost run 
his short course, and compelled us to seek 
the shore. 

On our way to the boarding-house, Elsie 
repented of her coolness, and was delightful 
to me; kissing her as we parted, I could only 
promise to visit her as usual, and give her 
more time than I had lately been able to afford. 



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It looked as if my good resolutions were likely 
to be put to a severe test. 

When I was alone and had time for cool 
reflection, I took myself earnestly to task. 
God knows I did not wish to harm the wo- 
man I loved; yet each time that Elsie and I 
met seemed to bring us nearer to the moment 
when there would be no retreat for us, when 
the last veil would fall of itself, and the ir- 
remediable would happen. All my half-hearted 
efforts to resist the current that was sweeping 
us along only served to show how strong the 
current was, how irresistible. At length I 
made up my mind and on next Saturday 
night I wrote to her that I could not see her 
on the Sunday; "we ought to be prudent." 
Before I was out of the house, next morning 
I received a pathetic little note, asking me 
to visit her some time during the day. If I 
were busy would I come to supper, or even 
after supper, or later, just to say "Good 
night." It would make the day so happy to 
know that I was coming; the hours would be 
so long and lonely-miserable if I stayed 
away. . . . 

Of course, I yielded. I sent back at once 
to say that I would put off the work which I 
was required to do, and take her and her mo- 
ther for a drive and a lunch out somewhere 
instead. 



The Bomb 



I thought of her mother simply as a pro- 
tection, and, of course, she was a shield to 
me; but I am inclined to think that the com- 
panionship and the complete freedom tempted 
Elsie to show her love for me a little more 
freely than she would have done if we had 
been alone together. All day long she was 
unspeakably delightful — provocative, wilful, 
imperious, as always, with an undercurrent 
of appeal and abandonment. The contrasts 
in her, the quick changes, were simply be- 
witching. 

I took them out to the little German res- 
taurant where I had gone with Lingg, and the 
whole place was lighted up by Elsie. She 
tried all the German dishes, fell in love, if you 
please, with Sauerkraut, declared that it was 
excellent; wanted to know how to make it; 
would have the recipe; flattered the German 
waiter so that he blushed all over his white 
face, and almost set his straw-coloured hair 
on fire. 

After lunch we went for a walk, and found 
a knot of trees making a grateful shade, 
where we sat and chatted. Every now and 
then I could not resist the temptation to touch 
Elsie, and I thrilled from head to foot at the 
contact; and every now and then she touched 
me, and the second or third time this hap- 
pened I saw that she, too, touched me on 






176 



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purpose. The thought was intoxicating. 

We drove back along the lake shore, with 
the dying sun shooting long crimson arrows, 
fan-like, over the western sky. The colours 
were all reflected in the water, with a sort of 
sombre purple magnificence. I shall never 
forget that drive. We had put a rug over our 
knees, and I was sitting opposite Elsie, and of 
course our feet met, and held one another. 
The peace and hush of the dying day seemed 
to envelop us. That was the happiest day 
of my life, for it ended well, too. 

Mrs. Lehman insisted on my staying to 
supper, and we all had supper together in the 
boarding-house. After supper Elsie put on 
her hat and came with me, and then I saw 
her back home again and by this time the 
stars had come out, and a little sliver of moon, 
a baby moon, was shining over the lake. As 
we said "Good night" at the door her arms 
went round my neck naturally, and our lips 
clung together. Feeling her yield, and over- 
powered by desire, I drew her inside the dark 
passage: "I love you," I said, "you darling! 
I love you," and went mad. "My own boy," 
she sighed back to me, and her supple, warm 
beauty gave itself to my desire. . . . 

But the place was impossible; in a minute 
or two there came footsteps on the stairs; 
footsteps, too, outside. I could only hold 



17 



The Bomb 



her to me in one long, passionate, quick kiss 
and set her free, when one of the boarders 
came in and discovered us. Elsie, of course, 
greeted him with perfect courtesy and un- 
concern. I, too, tried to look at my ease; 
but there were a thousand pulses beating in 
me, and the blood was rioting through my 
veins, and my voice, when I spoke, was strange 
in my ears. Still, the stolen sweetness of it 
all was deathless; it is as honey in my memory; 
whenever I think of it, I taste life's ecstasy 
again at the springing fount, as I had never 
tasted it before. 

The best day of my life, I said to myself, 
as I went back to my lodgings, and the thought 
was more exactly true than I imagined. The 
best day! I still see her as she stood when 
the door opened — the mutinous face and the 
great eyes with the curling lashes, and I hear 
the cool words with which she dismissed the 
intruder. . . . Ah me! how long ago and 
beautiful it all seems now! 

All the incidents of the late spring of that 
year are bathed in my memory in golden 
light; there is about them the evanescent 
loveliness of April sunshine. The weather 
helped this illusion; there had been floods of 
rain early in the month; now we had a sort 
of summer of St. Martin in midspring. The 



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dreadful, harsh winter had passed away be- 
yond recollection, and the whole city turned 
to enjoyment; there were parties and excur- 
sions in all directions, and for a time the 
mutterings of social war died out, and we 
heard, on every hand, the laughter of chil- 
dren. My new resolve to restrain myself 
with Elsie threw me more and more with 
Lingg and Ida. Besides, as my work for 
the "Post" became more and more important, 
I needed to consult oftener with Lingg. It 
was seldom I could use his opinions; they 
were neither obvious nor popular; but he 
always forced me to think; and now instead 
of looking at me and shrugging his shoulders 
when he disapproved, he gave himself the 
trouble of showing me the steps by which one 
reached new thoughts. 

Now, too, I began to realize his infinite 
kindness of nature; in spite of a cold and 
somewhat formal manner, he was singularly 
considerate and sympathetic to every form of 
weakness. Ida suffered periodically from 
shocking, nervous headaches; while they lasted 
Lingg moved about the sick-room with his 
cat-like, noiseless step, now bringing eau-de- 
Cologne for her forehead, now mitigating the 
sun-glare, now changing a hot for a cool pil- 
low — indefatigable, quiet, helpful. And when 
the crisis was past, he would plan some ex- 



175) 



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cursion; forty miles on the cars, and then a 
whole day in the woods with our meals at 
some farmhouse. 

I remember one excursion which I know 
fell about this time. Having thrown off the 
headache, Ida was at her brightest, and Lingg 
and I spent the whole noontide finding and 
bringing her masses of spring flowers which 
she tied into posies. We dined at the Oeslers' 
farm at one o'clock, and about three we went 
back to the forest, as to a temple. Our train 
did not start till seven, and Herr Oesler had 
promised to pick us up with a spring-wagon 
and fast team at six, so that we might have tea 
before starting for the depot. At first, we 
lay about talking idly and laughing, disin- 
clined for any exertion by the untimely heat; 
but as the sun slid down the sky, and cool airs 
began to make themselves felt, a more strenu- 
ous spirit came over us. 

I had long wanted to know why Lingg 
called himself an anarchist, what he meant 
by the term, and how he defended it; and 
accordingly I began to question him on the 
subject. I found him in a communicative 
mood, and, strangely enough, he showed that 
day an idealistic enthusiasm which seemed 
foreign to his nature, which a mere acquain- 
tance would never have attributed to him. 

"Anarchy is an ideal," he said, "and like 



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all ideals is of course full of practical faults, 
and yet it has a certain charm. We want to 
govern ourselves, and neither govern others 
nor be governed by them; that's the beginning. 
We start from the truism that no man is fit 
to judge another. Was there ever such a 
ludicrous spectacle, even on this comic earth, 
as a judge pronouncing sentence on his fel- 
low! Why, in order to judge a man at all, 
one must not only know him intimately, but 
love him, see him as he sees himself; whereas 
your judge knows nothing about him, and uses 
ignorance and a formula instead of intimate 
sympathy. And then the vile, soul-destroy- 
ing punishments of the prison — bad food, 
enforced idleness, or unsuitable labour, and 
solitary confinement, instead of elevating com- 
panionship. . . . 

"Suppose there are persons suffering from 
incurable moral faults; if there are any, they 
must be few indeed; but let's suppose there 
are such people: why punish them? If they 
have incurable physical faults such as elephan- 
tiasis, we take care of them in splendidly 
equipped hospitals; we give them the best of 
air and food, cheerful books, regular exercise; 
we provide, too, charming nurses and good 
doctors. Why not treat our moral patients 
as well as we treat congenital idiots ? Since 
Christ, with His pitying soul, came upon earth, 



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vvc recognize in some dull, half-hearted way 
that these deformed or diseased people are the 
scapegoats who bear the sins of humanity; 
'they are wounded for our transgressions, and 
with their stripes we are healed.' . . . 

"Let us sweep away both hospitals and 
prisons, and substitute lethal chambers for 
them, as our pseudo-scientists would have us 
do; or let us treat our moral lepers at least as 
well as we treat our cripples and our idiots. 
As soon as humanity understands its own 
self-interest it will make an end of prisons and 
judges, as more poisonous to the soul than any 
form of crime. . . . 

"I see a thousand questions on your tongue/' 
he went on, laughing; "resolve them all for 
yourself, my dear Rudolph, then they'll do 
you good; but don't put them to me. Each 
of us must construct the kingdom for himself, 
the Kingdom of Man upon Earth. This 
one will make it a fairyland; that one will 
make it a sort of castle of romance, with 
machicolated turrets, and set it in a meadow 
of blowing daffodils and lilies; I would have a 
modern city with laboratories at every street 
corner, and theatres and art studios and danc- 
ing halls, instead of drinking saloons; and at 
another moment I would build it with tent- 
like houses, after the fashion of the Japs, 
which could be taken up and carried off and 



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reconstructed in a night, for 'here we have no 
abiding city/ and the love of change — change 
of air, change of scene — is in my blood. But 
why shouldn't we have both; the stable work- 
ing city and the fleeting tents of joy ? . . . 

"There were two beautiful ideas in what 
we stupidly call the dark ages: the idea of 
purgatory, which is a thousand times more 
suitable to mankind than either hell or heaven, 
and the idea of service. Think of it, a noble- 
man would send his son as a page to the house 
of some famous knight to learn courage and 
courtesy and consideration for others, es- 
pecially for the weak or afflicted. There was 
nothing menial in such service; but the noblest 
human reverence — that's the anarchic ideal 
of service, free and unpaid ..." and he 
broke off, laughing heartily at the surprise in 
my face. 

I had never seen him let himself go with 
such abandon: he even quoted poetry — a 
verse of a parody which he had seen in a 
paper and applied to some Chicago million- 
aires — with huge delight: 

"They steal the lawns and grassy plots, 
They grab the hazel coverts, 
They mortgage the forget-me-nots 
That grow for happy lovers." 

He laughed boyishly over this for some 
time, but soon the graver mood came back. 
"All true progress," he said, "comes from 



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the gifted individual; but in my view a certain 
amount of Socialism is needed to bring a 
wider freedom to men, and with completer 
freedom and a stronger individualism I dream 
of a State industrial army, uniformed and offi- 
cered, employed in making roads and bridges, 
capitols and town halls, and people's parks, 
and all sorts of things for the common weal, 
and this army should be recruited from the 
unemployed. If the officers are good enough, 
believe me, in a year or two, service in the 
State army at even a low rate of wages would 
carry honour with it, as our army uniform 
does now. Don't forget that our dreams, if 
beautiful enough, are certain to be realized; 
the dreams of to-day are the realities of to- 
morrow. . . . 

"There are three manifestations of the 
divine in man," he went on, as if speaking to 
himself; "beauty in girls and boys, the bodily 
beauty and grace of youth, which we hide and 
prostitute, and which we should exhibit and 
admire in dances and public games, for beauty 
in itself humanizes and ennobles. Then there 
is genius in men and women, which is for the 
most part wasted and spent in a sordid con- 
flict with mediocrity, and which should be 
sought out and put to use as the rarest and 
most valuable of gifts. And then come the 
millions of the toil-weary and dispossessed 



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— each of them with a spark of the divine 
and a right in human pity to a humane life. 
Oh, there needs no saviour of men from among 
the gods," he cried; "but a saviour of God, of 
the Divine, among men ..." and again he 
broke off suddenly, smiling with inscrutable 
eyes. 

There surely never was a more interesting 
talker, and I was soon to find that as a man 
of action he was even greater. That day 
was our last day of joy and happiness together. 
In an hour or so the farmer came and gathered 
us, and Ida smiled as we all three went hand 
in hand, flower-crowned, to the wagon. 

My resolution not to let myself go with 
Elsie, or tempt her any further, held for some 
two or three weeks, and then it broke down 
again, broke down more completely than 
ever. I had taken her out to dinner, and she 
had put on a low-necked dress. The day 
had been very warm, and the night was close 
and sultry. We dined together in a private 
room in a German restaurant, and afterwards 
we sat together, or rather she sat on my knees, 
with my arms round her, and I began to kiss 
her beautiful bare shoulders — flower-like, cool 
and fragrant. 

I don't know what possessed me; I had 
been working hard all day, had written a 



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couple of good articles, had made a little extra 
money, and saw my way to make more. I 
was excited, happy, and therefore, perhaps, a 
little more thoughtless, and a little more 
masterful than usual. Success is too apt to 
make one imperious, and so I took Elsie in 
my arms and began kissing her and caressing 
her, with a thirst for her that I cannot de- 
scribe. The very first kiss gave me the in- 
tensest sensation, made my senses reel, in 
fact, and when she stopped me I was enraged; 
but she drew away from me, and stood by 
herself for a minute or so, then she turned 
to me. 

"You don't know how you tempt and try 
me," she cried, and then after a pause: "How 
I wish I were beautiful!" 

"Why do you talk like that?" I said; "you 
are beautiful enough for anything, and you 
know it." 

"Oh, no, I'm not," she replied. "I'm 
just pretty, very pretty, if you like, on my 
days; but beautiful, extraordinary, never. I'm 
not tall enough," she went on, meditatively, 
"only just middle height" (two inches below 
that standard, I thought, with a smile, for 
the repulse had awakened a sort of sex-antago- 
nism in me), "and sometimes undistinguished, 
almost plain." 

She turned to me and spoke passionately: 



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"If I were beautiful I'd yield to you at once. 
Yes, I would, for then I could win through 
anyway, but, as it is, I'm afraid. You see, 
I could not win through if anything happened, 
and it would just break mother's heart; so 
you must not tempt me, Boy, please!" and 
her eyes besought me. 

I took her in my arms again, almost ruth- 
lessly, in spite of her soul-revealing frankness, 
and again began kissing and caressing her — 
as a thirsty man drinks. For a moment she 
yielded, I think, and then she broke away 
again, and when I asked her why, she said 
hurriedly, as if afraid to trust herself — 

"I must go now; I must go home." 

"Oh, no, no!" I cried. "If you do not 
care for me, what does it matter, and it is too 
early to go home yet. I'd have the whole 
long evening before me to call myself names 
in." 

"I ought to go," she repeated. 

"There's no risk for you," I retorted sulkily; 
"vou are always completely mistress of your- 
self." 

"Oh," she exclaimed, "how blind you are, 
and unkind! . . . I'd like to go on just as much 
as you: I should. Why do you make me say 
such shameful things? But they are true. 
I am trembling now from head to foot. Just 
feel me. Ah!" and she came over to me, and 



IS' 



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slipped into my embrace again, and slid her 
arms round my neck. "Don't make it too 
hard for me, Boy," and her lips gave them- 
selves to mine. 

Almost I had taken her then. If she had 
not made the appeal I should have. But 
the appeal suddenly recalled me to the terrible 
edge of the abyss on which I was standing, 
and I felt chilled to the bone. No, I had no 
right to. No, I would be a man now and 
control myself; and so, gathering her in my 
arms and drawing her head back to kiss her 
throat, "Darling mine!" I cried, "I won't 
make it hard for you. We two will make it 
easy for each other always, won't we — as 
easy as possible?" 

Again her lips sought mine with a little 
contented sigh. From that time on, I think 
the resistance in her was completely broken, 
and I could have won her whenever I liked, 
but I dared not. All my regard for her, all 
my admiration of her beauty and frankness 
and provocative charm came back, and helped 
me again and again to restrain myself. I 
would not yield, and the less would I yield 
now that there were no barriers between us; 
for after this day, when she found that I 
meant to restrain myself, she did not attempt 
to restrain me, but gave herself to my desire. 
I could do what I would with her, and this 



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freedom, the power given to me, held me back 
as nothing else could. I fought with myself, 
and every time I conquered, Elsie was sweeter 
to me, and made the next self-conquest harder 
and easier at the same time. I cannot ex- 
plain the tangled web of my feelings, nor how 
the tenderness for her triumphed over my 
passion; but the passion was always there, 
too, watching its opportunity and trying to 
make it. But from that night on I held it by 
the throat, though it twined snake-like round 
all my body and nearly conquered at the last. 



189 



Chapter VIII 



AND now, like those who have sown the 
•**• wind, we came, at length, to the reap- 
ing of the whirlwind. For a moment there 
was a lull in the storm; the gale, so to speak, 
taking breath for a final desperate effort. 
There are those who profess to find a crescen- 
do in the awful business from beginning to 
end. We who lived at the storm-centre did 
not remark that — perhaps because we had 
other and more important things to do and 
think about. You see the position: on this 
side intolerant, greedy Americans, satisfied 
with their steal-as-you-can or competitive 
swindling society; on the other side bands of 
foreign workmen with ideas of justice, right 
and fair play in their heads, and little or 
nothing in their bellies. These poor foreigners 
were systematically overworked, and under- 
paid; they had no compensation for injuries 
incurred in their work; they were liable for 
the most part to be discharged at a moment's 
notice, the longest notice accorded being a 
week, and that notice was usually given on 
the approach of winter, in order that the honest 
employer might weed out the worse workmen 



190 



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and force down to starvation limit the wages 
of the best. On the side of the Americans, 
the authorities, the law-courts, the police; 
the whole vile paraphernalia of so-called 
justice with armed militia in the background, 
and if that was not enough, the Federal army 
of the United States. The churches, too, 
and the professions, the trained intelligence 
of the nation stood with the robbers. The 
foreign workmen, on the other side, were 
unarmed, rent apart by differences of race and 
language, without a leader, rallying-point, or 
settled policy. If might is right they had no 
chance; yet right is always in process of be- 
coming might, even in this confused welter of 
a world — that is hardly to be denied. What, 
then, will be the outcome? 

One incident threw light, as from a red 
flare, into the sordid arena. There was at 
that time a store selling drugs and groceries 
in the very centre of the foreign population. 
This store had a telephone, and was therefore 
much frequented by quick American reporters 
eager to get messages to and from their papers. 
The foreign workmen believed, with good 
reason, that this telephone had been used 
on more than one occasion to call down the 
police on them. Naturally they regarded 
the reporters with hatred and suspicion; were 
they not the eager tools of the capitalist press ? 



191 



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One night a band of Polish and Bohemian 
workmen got together, headed by a hot young 
Jew who spoke both tongues; he led the mob 
to the drug store, entered with a bound, seized 
and tore down the telephone; the others 
following the brave example, rushed in and 
began to wreck the store, drinking, meanwhile, 
whatever wine or spirits they could lay their 
hands on. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the 
grocer man, it appears, had two gallon jars 
of wine of colchicum. These were seized, 
uncorked, drained in an instant, and so some 
ten poor wretches paid for their petty fling- 
out with their lives. Nature is nothing if not 
prodigal. I recall the incident to show that 
the workmen were not always in the right; 
but whether in the wrong or in the right, they 
always paid the bill, and it was generally 
heavy. 

Curiously enough, Parsons, of "The A- 
larm," showed himself in his true colours at 
this time. The wrecking of the drug store 
turned a fierce, unfriendly light upon the 
reporters. Again and again men with note- 
books were attacked by strikers or passing 
workmen. On several occasions Parsons in- 
tervened and saved the unfortunates from 
the violence of their enemies. As I have said 
before, Parsons was by nature and upbringing 
a moderate reformer, and was neither a rebel 



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nor a revolutionary. He had a gift of speech, 
but not of thought. 

The winter had been long and bitter. For 
weeks together the thermometer registered 
from ten to forty degrees below zero, and 
Chicago is exposed to every wind that blows. 
Great frozen lakes surround it to the north, 
and gales sweep the town, tornadoes of fear- 
ful violence, blizzards raking the streets with 
icy teeth. Not a place to be out of work in 
during the winter. And all through the winter 
strikes were of weekly occurrence. This firm 
or that trying to squeeze down their employees 
or to weed out the worse ones, brought about 
lockouts or bitter strikes, and at once the 
police patrols went galloping to the threatened 
point, and used their bludgeons on the un- 
armed and hungry strikers. But the police 
were too few for this additional work; they 
were unwisely directed, too, overdriven and 
harassed to exasperation. All the elements 
here piled ready for the final conflagration. 

As the winter broke into spring, Spies and 
Parsons revived the agitation for eight hours' 
work, and set about organizing a great dem- 
onstration for the first of May. This ex- 
asperated the American population, and en- 
couraged the foreigners. At this moment, 
as the destinies would have it, the small 
strikes were swallowed up in a great strike. 



193 



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The factory of the famous McCormick harves- 
ter and reaper works was situated on the far 
west side of the city. Close by to the east 
were the teeming foreign quarters of Germans, 
Poles, and Bohemians. Nine out of ten 
of the McCormick workmen were foreigners, 
and were engaged in simple hand-work which 
anyone could do. The McCormick managers 
attempted therefore to fill the places of the 
strikers at once, for summer with its renewed 
demand was coming on; this caused riot after 
riot. The strikers picketed the streets, tried 
to prevent the new men from going to work, 
sometimes, it is said, used force. Immediate- 
ly the police were called for and intervened 
vigorously. Women and children attacked 
the patrol wagons and threw stones at the 
police. Men, women, and even children, 
were savagely clubbed in return. Meetings 
were held nightly on every corner throughout 
the district to express sympathy with the 
strikers. The police broke up these meetings 
in a sort of frenzy of rage. Again and again 
perfectly orderly and unobjectionable gather- 
ings were dispersed with the bludgeon. The 
guardians of law and order used violence on 
every possible occasion, even when it was 
clearly unnecessary, and this exasperated the 
foreign workmen. 

The first of May dawned. All day long 



194 



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the police scurried from point to point 
breaking up this meeting with threats, and 
dispersing that with force, plainly show- 
ing themselves everywhere masters of the 
situation. The American newspapers had 
talked so loudly of what the strikers were 
going to do, that when the first of May 
passed without any dangerous revolutionary 
attempt, nine out of ten American citizens 
were ready to believe that they had been mis- 
taken, that the whole thing had been exag- 
gerated by their newspapers, which was, in- 
deed, the bare truth. Every one hoped now 
that the excitement would subside, that the 
angry passions would gradually settle down, 
and that quiet and order would once more be 
established. But in spite of temporary set- 
backs everything was hurrying to a dreadful 
climax. 

On one side of the McCormick works at 
this time was a large, open field; in and about 
this field the strikers gathered daily in crowds. 
It was the second of May, I think, that the 
"Arbeiter Zeitung" called a meeting on this 
field for the afternoon of the third. There 
was a railroad switch on the field, and on it 
an empty freight car. From the roof of this 
car Spies opened the meeting with an enthusi- 
astic, fiery speech. The men who listened to 
him were strikers, two or three thousand in 



!<).") 



The Bomb 



number. As soon as he had finished his 
speech this mob, armed with sticks and stones, 
started for the works to attack the new men 
taken on in their places, the "strike-breakers," 
as they called them. These men hid them- 
selves in the tower of the main building: the 
strikers searched about for them everywhere 
in vain, breaking the windows, meanwhile, 
with showers of stones. In the midst of this 
riot half a dozen police wagons came charging 
up. They were received with stones, thrown 
principally by women. The police at once 
drew their revolvers and began to fire at the 
crowd. The majority of the mob broke and 
fled. A few of the strikers made a stand, 
and were clubbed and shot down. Forty or 
fifty people were wounded, seven or eight 
killed outright by the police bullets. 

This dreadful deed aroused the worst 
passions of both parties. The American news- 
papers upheld the police, applauded their 
action, and encouraged them to continue to 
enforce the law and maintain peace and order. 
On the other hand, those of us who were in 
any sympathy with the strikers condemned 
the police as guilty of monstrous and cause- 
less murder. 

The leaders of the strikers called meetings 
for the next evening, the fourth, to denounce 
the police for shooting unarmed men. Of 



196 



The Bomb 



these the most important was called by Spies 
and Parsons, and was to be held in Desplaines 
Street, a shabby street soon to be made memo- 
rable for ever. 

I had been with the strikers in the attack 
upon the McCormick works. Lingg came 
late upon the scene; but he it was who tried 
to make a stand against the police when they 
fired on the crowd. After the riot was over, 
I helped him to carry away one of the wounded 
women. She was only a girl, eighteen or 
nineteen years of age, and was shot through 
the body. When I saw Lingg lifting her I 
ran to his aid. The poor girl tried to thank 
us. She was plainly dying; indeed, she died 
just after we reached the hospital with her. 
I never saw Lingg so wrought up before; yet 
he was quite calm, and spoke even more slowly 
than his wont; but his eyes were glowering, 
and when the doctor dropped her wrist with 
a careless " She's dead," I thought Lingg was 
going to fly at him. I was glad to get him 
away and into the streets again. There I 
had to leave him, because I had to go home 
and write my daily article. I found that even 
Engel had been at the riot, and had come 
back beside himself with indignation. Poor, 
gentle, kindly Engel was absolutely maddened 
by the brutality of the police. 

"They dare to shoot women!" he cried. 



19? 



The Bomb 



"The brutes!" I could only clench my teeth. 

As soon as I had finished my work I made 
my way to Lingg's rooms. He lived a good 
way from me, a couple of miles, and the walk 
in the beautiful summer-like air did something 
to quiet my nerves. On the way I bought an 
evening paper; I found in it a travesty of the 
facts, a tissue of lies from beginning to end, 
and a brutal tone. 

When I knocked at Lingg's door I did not 
know what to expect; but as soon as I entered 
I was conscious of a new atmosphere. The 
reading-lamp with its green shade stood 
lighted upon the table. Lingg sat beside it, 
half in the light, half in the shade. Ida had 
been sitting on the other side, completely in 
the dark. As she opened the door I saw she 
had been crying. 

Lingg said nothing when I came into the 
room, and at first I, too, had nothing to say. 
At last I managed to ask him lamely — 

"What did you think of it, Lingg? Terri- 
ble, wasn't it?" 

He looked at me for a moment. 

"It's the parting of the ways." 

"What do you mean?" I asked. 

"Either the police must be allowed to do 
whatever they please, or we must strike back. 
Submission or revolt." 

"What do you intend to do?" I asked. 



198 



The Bomb 



" Revolt, " he replied on the instant. 

"Then count me in, too/' I cried, the wild 
indignation in me flaming. 

"Better think it over," he warned me. 

"There's no need to think," I returned; 
"I have done all the thinking necessary." 

He looked at me with the kindly searching 
eyes. 

"I wish we could get at the master-robbers," 
he said, half to himself. "It seems absurd 
to strike the hands and let the directing brains 
go free; but the police- wrong is the more 
manifest, and we have no time to pick and 
choose." 

"It's the police I'm down on," I cried hotly; 
"the brutes!" 

"What about the meeting to-morrow?" 
Lingg asked. "Will they try to disperse that 
— I mean the meeting in the Haymarket?" 

The first time I heard the word was then 
from Lingg's lips. Knowing the place better 
than he did, I began to explain that it was not 
in the Haymarket, but a hundred yards away, 
in Desplaines Street. He nodded his head; 
yet in some way or other he had found at once 
the name that shall in all future time be given 
to the place. 

The next thing discussed was the amount of 
money I had. Lingg had made up his mind 
that I was to escape and hide in Europe; he 



199 



The Bomb 



was glad to find that I had nearly a thousand 
dollars put by. I had been saving for my 
marriage. He promised to call next morning. 
I was not to make up my mind then, or think 
of what I should do; the strain of long think- 
ing on one subject was exhausting, he said, 
and proceeded to show his wonderful self- 
control by putting the whole of the occurrences 
out of his head. 

He talked a little about himself, laughingly. 
"When it comes to my turn," he said, "and 
they catch me, they will give me an awful 
character. They'll say I am a rebel and 
anarchist because I'm illegitimate; but that's 
not true. I had the best mother in the world. 
I was always perfectly content with my birth. 
Of course I despised the wretched creature 
who seduced my mother and then abandoned 
her; but such animals are not rare among the 
German aristocracy. No, I grew bitter when 
I came to understand the conditions of a work- 
man's life. Yet it was always pretty easy for 
me to get a living, ' he added. 

His talk that evening was curiously im- 
personal, for the most part, and so to speak, 
detached. Some phrases of it, however, were 
illuminating. 

"The writer," he said, "tries to find a 
characteristic word; the painter some scene 
that will enable him to express himself. I 



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always wanted a characteristic deed, some- 
thing that no one else would do, or could do. 
One should be strong enough to bend and 
constrain deeds to one's service, and they are 
more stubborn than words, more recalcitrant 
than bronze. . . . " 

His forecast of what would happen was 
astonishingly correct, though now for the 
first time he began to speak passionately, and 
his phrases stand out in my memory as if 
blazoned with fire. 

"If a bomb is thrown the police will arrest 
hundreds; they will accuse a dozen innocent 
men, and more. I want to go into their 
court-room, the court-room of this robber 
society, and when the venal judge gives sen- 
tence, I mean to stand up and say, 'You have 
pronounced sentence on yourself, damn you!' 
and with my own hand execute my verdict. 

"I have had enough," he said, speaking 
with indescribable intensity, "of the whole 
damned hypocritical society, where the greedy 
thieves are exalted, and those that steal and 
plunder and murder, judge and punish their 
betters. . . . 

"Besides," he went on, "in my soul I'm 
glad to make an end; I never did mean to die 
in my bed, to stand upon the stage of life 
talking or acting and suddenly to be pulled 
off backward by the hair, so to speak, and 



201 



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thrown on the dust-heap. By God," and the 
deep voice was appalling in its passion, "I 
will pull down the curtain with my own hands, 
and shut off the lights when I please. I'll 
be my own judge and executioner. It is 
something to die like a man and not like a 
sheep. . . ." 

What more was there to be said ? I was 
merely drinking in draughts of courage from 
Lingg's spirit. When I went out of the room 
I was treading on air, filled with his desperate 
resolution. I, too, would pull down the cur- 
tain with my own hands, and shut off the 
lights. So astonishing was the man's influence, 
so intense the virtue that came out of him, so 
absorbing the passion, that I went striding 
through the streets wildly, without a moment's 
misgiving, and, finding Engel was out, went 
straight to bed and slept like a log. 

True, I woke up next day gasping with 
fear, as if some one had been seated on my 
heart, preventing it from beating; but as soon 
as I came to myself and thought of Lingg the 
discomfort passed, and I got up and dressed. 
While I was having my breakfast about eight 
o'clock, with Engel, Lingg came in, the steady 
eyes shining. We had a little talk, and went 
out together. He accompanied me to the 
bank, where I drew out my money. After- 
wards we went, according to his advice, to 



202 



The Bomb 



three different changers, and changed it for 
gold, and then he took me away to dinner 
with Ida. 

Ida was very white and very still; we dined 
together in a room all by ourselves. Some- 
how or other this comparative solitude, or 
the enforced companionship with Lingg and 
Ida, who talked in monosyllables about dif- 
ferent things, began to weigh upon me. At 
the end of dinner I said — 

"Look, Lingg, I want to be by myself. 
I'm going back to the house." 

His eyes searched me. 

"Don't think you have gone too far to 
retreat," he said quietly. "If you feel you 
would rather not do it, don't mind saying so 
a bit, Rudolph. You have a happy life before 
you, and you are a dear, good fellow; I don't 
want to drag you into the maelstrom." 

"No, no!" I cried, catching fire again from 
his immutable purpose. "I am going on, 
but I must be alone for a little while first; I 
must think and and make final arrangements, 
that's all." 

"I quite see," he said. "Do you wish me 
to come for you to-night, or would you rather 
put it off ?" 

"Come for me," I said, "at eight," and I 
held out my hands. He took both my hands 
in his, and involuntarilv I bent forward, and 



203 



The Bomb 



we kissed, for the first time, kissed as comrades 
and lovers. As I passed out of the restaurant 
I was consecrate, giddily exalted. I went to 
my rooms filled with intense resolution. I 
packed a grip with just my best things, a suit 
of clothes, a flannel shirt or two, a dozen 
collars — bare necessaries — and then lay down 
on the bed to face my own soul. But the 
exaltation of Lingg's love still held me. 

"So this is the end of your high ambitions," 
I said to myself; "the boundary and limit of 
all your hopes and fears, the goal of life for 
you?" 

"Yes," my deeper self answered with strong 
resolve, "this is the meaning of the struggle, 
and my part in it is clear. I know what the 
weak suffer; I know how the poor are tor- 
tured; I know the forces against them, yet I 
stand for the weak, and for justice and right 
to the end — and beyond." There was 
thrilling exultation in me; but no fear, no 
doubt. 

After sitting a while by myself, I heard a 
little noise down below in the shop, then 
footsteps on the stairs, and a timid knocking 
at the door. 

"Come in," I said; and to my astonishment 
Elsie came in. I could not have been more 
surprised if the Governor of the State had 
entered. 



204 



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"Why, Elsie," I cried, "what are you doing 
here ?" 

"You don't answer my letters," she said, 
"and you did not come yesterday to see me, 
though it was our day, so I came to find you, 
sir. Are you cross with me ?" 

"No, indeed," I said, putting a chair for 
her. "Won't you take off your things?" 

"I will stay a little while if I may," she said, 
"though it seems strange and not quite right 
to be here; but I must have a talk with you." 
She went over to the glass, took off her hat, 
smoothed her hair, laid aside her little jacket, 
and came back for the talk; and the talk, if 
you consider it, was curious enough. 

The majority of men believe, or profess to 
believe, that women are insidious, sly, decep- 
tive, or else crack-brained creatures who 
prefer crooked paths to straight, and would 
rather miss their ends by cunning than com- 
pass them by honesty. I have known only 
this one woman intimately, but I found her 
absolutely frank and simple, obeying every 
impulse of her feelings, like a child, or rather 
as she had only one dominant passion, giving, 
herself to that with inconsiderate abandon- 
ment, as a ship obeys her helm. 

Elsie drew up a chair, sat down beside me, 
and began — 

"I hardly know how to say it, Boy; but I 



205 



The Bomb 



must; ain't you too much with Ida Miller?" 
(This direct approach was simply to surprise 
me; but my genuine look of astonishment 
checked her.) "Oh, I don't mean that you 
are in love with her yet; but she has a great 
influence over you, hasn't she ?" and she fixed 
me with narrowing eyes. 

I could only shake my head and repeat — 

"'In love with Ida'; however did you get 
that into your head ? Why, she's devoted to 
Lingg, and I never though'; of her except as a 
friend. Your little roof must have a slate 
off," and I tapped her on the forehead, laugh- 
ing. 

"No, no; I'm sane enough," she went on 
impatiently; "but if it isn't Ida, who is it?" 

"It's Elsie," I replied gravely. 

"Don't make fun of me," she said, dimp- 
ling. " What has changed you ? You know, 
it makes me angry to think of it. Just as I 
have yielded to you, you seem to have drawn 
into yourself and grown colder and colder. 
It makes me mad to think I should have given 
myself, and not be wanted." 

The pity of it! I gathered her into my 
arms at once, crying — 

"Elsie, Elsie, of course you're wanted just 
as much as ever; more than ever — much 
more. I cannot touch you without thrilling. 
If I restrain myself, it is for your sake, dear." 



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She looked at me through her tears, one 
question in her eyes. 

"How can that be, Boy? You didn't re- 
strain yourself before; nothing would stop 
you!" 

"You have grown dearer to me, more 
precious," I cried. "Your frankness has 
been extraordinary. At first I just loved you; 
now I admire you and honour you beyond 
every one. You are such a great little per- 
sonality. You have made all other women 
clear to me, I think, and I honour them all 
for your sake." 

"Who has taught you to pay all these com- 
pliments?" she asked, with her head on one 
side, smiling. 

"Elsie," I said, "and my love for her. All 
roads lead to Rome; all words bring me just 
to that one word, 'Elsie,'" and after kissing 
her I put her back on her seat again. 

"There, you see!" she cried; "you used to 
hold me in your arms for hours and hours; 
you were never tired of kissing and caressing 
me; and now, as soon as possible you put me 
away from you!" and her eyes filled with 
tears. 

"Because I am flesh and blood," I returned, 
"and do not want to yield to the desire that 
is driving me c^azy." 

"But suppose I let you yield to it," she 



2<r 



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replied, looking down. "As you say you 
have changed, suppose I have changed, too; 
if you asked me now to marry you, I should 
say 'yes* instead of 'no'? Doesn't that alter 
everything?" And she looked up at me 
with the clear eyes alight, and a little hot 
flush in her cheeks. 

I caught at any straw. I saw that if she 
pressed me much more I should be sure to 
confess that I had changed for some reason, 
and in this way might put her on the track. 

"If we are going to be married,' ' I said, "it 
would of course be different; but one would 
be a poor fool, then, not to wait, wouldn't 
one ?" 

Her eyes searched me again, and she shook 
her head slowly, as if unconvinced or sus- 
picious. 

"I suppose so," she said at length; "but it 
doesn't matter so much, does it?" 

I was forced to admit that, so I said, "No, 
you sweet," and put my arms round her and 
kissed her lips, and felt her whole supple 
body thrilling, yielding to my embrace. 

How I controlled myself and dragged my- 
self away, I don't know; but I did, though the 
conflict was hot enough to rob me for some 
minutes of any power even of thinking. As 
in a dream I heard her telling me that she 
thought much more of me for my self-control, 



208 



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that she would have a man too strong to yield 
to anything, unless his reason told him it was 
right. And so she went on praising me until 
I closed her sweet lips with kisses. 

"Oh," she said, after a while, looking into 
my eyes; "at least you have taught me what 
love is, Boy, and I want your love to be bound- 
less, like mine, to stifle all considerations, and 
hesitations. I am willing to yield to you, 
Boy, my boy, now. ..." 

And she held my forehead in her tiny hands 
and looked bravely at me with the great shin- 
ing eyes. 

"You men think we women have no curiosi- 
ty, no desire. It is not the same desire as 
yours, dear; but it is stronger, I think. Yield- 
ing means more to us than to you, and there- 
fore we are a little more cautious than you, 
more prudent; but not much more, consider- 
ing all things. . . . 

" You tempt us with desire, with the pleasure 
you give, and we can resist; but tempt us 
with tenderness, or self-sacrifice, ask us to do 
it for you, and we melt at once. We women 
love to give delight to those we love. We 
are born with breasts, Boy, to give. Ask us 
to enjoy, and we can refuse; ask us to give 
joy, and we yield at once. . . . 

"That is why the tempting of men is so 
ignoble. Oh, of course, not in your case; 



209 



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you'd marry me, I know. It is different; but 
still the woman's is the nobler part. You ask 
for yourselves, and we yield for your sakes. 
It is more blessed to give than to receive. 
But you, Boy, don't accept the gift, and I 
don't know whether to be proud of you or 
angry with you. What silly things we women 
are! 

Elsie always startled me. There was such 
insight in her, such understanding. As re- 
gards love, at least, she knew more than 
any man. I began to wonder whether I was 
right in concealing anything from her. A 
moment's thought convinced me that I had 
been wrong; I ought to have told her every- 
thing; but it was too late now, far too late. I 
felt that she would be against me, against 
Lingg, passionately, terribly. I could not 
make a long fight with her this last afternoon; 
it was impossible, and besides, my secret was 
not mine alone; my only hope was to remain 
on the surface, not to get to deep, self- 
revealing levels; so I began to talk of our 
marriage. 

" Where can we live, Elsie? Won't your 
mother be afraid, and are you quite sure you 
will never regret, you delight?" 

44 1 don't think a woman ever regrets what 
she does for love's sake," she said; "at any 
rate, I'm sure she never regrets so long as she 



210 



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is loved. It is only when his love dies that 
she regrets.' ' 

"I am a little afraid, " I broke off, "that 
my attitude to these strikes will do me harm 
on the American papers; it has already dam- 
aged me. Wilson says he finds socialism now 
even in my account of a fire; and yet I try to 
stick to the bare facts." 

"I hate that old socialism anyway!" cried 
Elsie, "and the frowsy meetings. Why should 
you bother about the poor? They wouldn't 
do anything for you, and even if they knew 
what you were doing for them they would not 
be grateful to you. Besides, they're no good 
anyway. Why should you spoil your future 
for a set of common men who are nothing to 
you at all?" 

I shook my head. "We don't do things 
always for the rewards, Elsie, but because we 
must. . . ." 

"It is just silly," she said. "I wonder is it 
Lingg who influences you ? He's quite mad. 
You can see madness in those burning eyes 
of his. When he looks at me, I get cold. He 
frightens me, and not a nice sort of fright, 
either. He scares me half to death. Oh, I 
wish you'd leave him and Ida to get on as 
they please, and never see either of them again. 
I am sure you would be a great deal better, 
and a great deal sweeter, and I know I'd 



211 



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212 



just love you for it. Come! Won't you? — 
for my sake ?" and she knelt down at my feet, 
and threw herself against my knees, and put 
up her hands and drew my head down. What 
a temptress she was, and what a face! I 
could not help taking her in my arms; I lifted 
her up, held her close to me, body to body. 
Dear God! Was I to have nothing? The 
next moment the other thought, the awful 
one came, of what I had promised to do. 

I got angry, and putting her from me, rose. 
At once she stood opposite me. 

"What is it?" she asked sharply. "I know 
there is something. What is it? Tell me, 
tell me, at once/' all the old imperiousness in 
tone and manner. Love may soften; but it 
does not really change us. 

I sat down on the sofa and shook my head. 
"There is nothing, dear; but that I love you 
terribly, and must not yield to it/' 

"Silly boy," she said, coming over and 
seating herself beside me, and putting her 
arm round my neck. "You silly boy. You 
shall do whatever you want to, and you shall 
not be annoyed by anyone." And she threw 
herself down on the couch. As I turned to her 
she said, "I will just kiss you, little bird- 
kisses." (When we first knew each other 
I used to call her kisses bird-kisses, because 
she kissed me, I said, like a bird pecking a 






The Bomb 



fruit.) But now she knew better, and her 
lips dwelt on mine. 

What was I to do? Was ever a man in 
such a position, torn two ways ? Every time 
she touched me I went mad; my mouth 
parched with desire; I trembled from head to 
foot, and yet I knew I must not let myself go. 
It would be dastardly. 

"After all, why not?" I asked myself. 
"Why not? Why not?" My blood raced 
in my veins, so that I was incapable of reason. 

I put my hands on her, and she smiled in 
my eyes that divine smile of passionate aban- 
donment. As I touched the round limbs and 
felt the warm flesh, her hands slid round my 
neck, and drew down my lips to hers. While 
she thrilled under my touch and her lips clung 
to mine, I was suddenly broken with love and 
admiration. I could not accept the sacrifice; 
I dared not leave that exquisite child with 
the risk and suffering; I could not. But I 
would kiss and caress her to the limit of my 
resolve, and I did. . . . 

At length I felt my purpose melting. 

"Oh, Elsie," I groaned, "help me, help me. 
It's not fair, and I must be fair to you." 

She got up at once, and shook her skirts 
straight, with the old proud gesture that I 
knew so well. 

"Your wish shall be done," she said: "but 



213 



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there is something I do not understand, which 
makes my heart ache. Can't you tell me, 
Boy?" and she looked right into my eyes. 
"There is nothing to tell," I said, "sweet 



mine." 



She shook her head contemptuously. 

"I swear, Elsie, that if I restrain myself it 
is simply for your sake. You must believe 
me, heart's delight! you must." 

"I will try to," she said. "Good-bye, Boy." 

"Are you going?" I cried in wildest despair, 
stretching my hands out to her. "Good 
God! Good God! I can't let you go!" and 
my heart choked me. 

Was I never to see her again ? to lose that 
bewitching sweet face? Never to hold the 
exquisite figure in my arms again, never to 
hear her voice in my ears ; never again ? The 
tears gushed from my eyes. 

"There," she cried, putting her arms about 
me, "that is the first time you have been ab- 
solutely yourself since I have been in the room. 
That look and cry convince me that you still 
love me, and I'm glad, heart-glad." 

"How could you ever doubt it!" I cried. 

She shook her head. "Oh, Boy; I'm con- 
vinced now; but what has altered you — what 
is it? I cannot understand. There is some- 
thing." 

"You will understand one day, sweetheart," 



214 



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I said, trying to smile. "You will understand 
that I love you with my whole heart, that I 
have never loved any other woman, that I 
shall never love another"; and we were in 
each other's arms again, and our faces were 
wet with our tears. 

"Now I am going," she said, dashing the 
tears from her eyes, "going at once. Good- 
bye, Boy." At the door she turned and came 
back quickly, took my hands and kissed them 
one by one, and then put them against her 
little firm breasts. 

"I love you, Boy, with all my heart, my 
boy!" and she was gone. 

I dropped into the chair, unable to restrain 
myself. The waters of bitterness seemed to 
go over my head. Nothing mattered now; 
nothing could ever matter after this, nothing. 
The pain was too bitter. I dared not think 
of her, my lost love. . . . 

I felt I must not give way like that; I must 
be a man and pull myself together; but how? 
There was one infallible means. I called 
back to memory the image of the man shot 
on the vacant lot, and gasping out his blood 
as he cried to his wife and children. I re- 
minded myself of the poor girl we took to the 
hospital, the sweet face of her growing greyer 
and greyer. I thought of the man blinded 
by the explosion, and his pathetic stumblings; 



Si. 5 



The Bomb 



the horrible, maimed creature proud of his 
phosphorous poisoning; the great Swiss giant, 
writhing about like a wounded worm; and my 
tears dried of themselves, with indignation and 
rage, and I was ready. With one big sigh 
for all that was Elsie stifled in my throat, I 
set my face towards reality, and as I pulled 
myself up out of the chair with the hot blood 
running through me I heard eight o'clock 
strike, and a moment later those swift, steady 
steps on the street outside, Lingg's steps. I 
took a deep breath. Thank God! I was 
ready! 



216 



Chapter IX 



AS Lingg came into the room and our 
hands met and he looked into my eyes 
with that steady light in his, I was glad, jubi- 
lant that I was ready. With a great thrill I 
felt for the first time that I could meet him as 
an equal. Death has this strange power over 
men, that when you are willing to walk within 
his shadow you feel yourself the equal of any- 
thing that lives. 

"I see," said Lingg quietly, "you've made 
up your mind. I was hoping you had changed." 

"I have packed, and am ready," I remarked, 
as equal to equal now. He went past me to 
the window, and stood looking out for a min- 
ute or so. I went over to him; he turned, 
and our eyes met. 

"I often wonder, Rudolph," he said, putting 
his hand on my shoulder, "whether this world 
of ours will be a success or a failure. . . . After 
all, it's quite possible that man will never 
realize the best in him. There must have 
been countless failures before in other worlds; 
why should this mud-ball of ours bring it 
to a consummation?" And then the return. 
"Yet why not? It's always young, the old 



%V 



The Bomb 



world, and breeding youth; always trying! 
Why should we fail ? In any case, the attempt 
is something — something, too, the motive!" 
And his eyes lit up; I smiled. His intimate 
kindness to me, the comradeship even in his 
doubts gave the supreme touch to my resolu- 
tion. 

' ' Have you the bomb ?" 

"Here it is," he said, and took it out of his 
right-hand pocket. He always wore short 
coats, generally double-breasted, with large 
pockets. The bomb was not larger than an 
orange; but it was ten times the size of the 
bullet that he had tried on the lake, and I 
knew its power must be enormous. On one 
side of it there hung out a little piece of tape- 
like stuff. 

"What's that?" I asked, pointing to it. 

"This bomb has a double action," he said; 
"if you pull that tape it will set fire to some- 
thing inside; the explosion will then take 
place in a third of a minute, exactly twenty 
seconds, so that you should pull it first, then 
wait five or ten seconds, and then throw the 
bomb; but it will also explode on impact, so be 
careful of it," 

"What's it made of?" I asked, taking it in 
my hand. It was surprisingly heavy. 

"Leaden piping on the outside," he replied; 
"lead is so easy to work. The composition 



218 



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inside is a discovery of mine — a chance find." 

"I'll put it in my trousers' pocket," I said, 
"because there nothing can hit it, and it will 
be held tightly, so that I can pull the tape when 
I like. I suppose it won't burn outwardly ?*' 

He shook his head. 

"You may see the spark when you throw 
it; but there will be nothing to burn your 
clothes, if that's what you mean." 

There was a feverish haste on me. I was 
impatient to have done with the work, to get 
it over. 

"Hadn't we better go to the meeting now ?" 
I asked. 

Lingg was as quiet as ever, and spoke just 
as slowly as usual. 

"If you will," he said; "it is a mile to the 
Haymarket, and the meeting is called for 
nine o'clock; they won't begin till eight or 
ten minutes past, and even if the police break 
up the meeting they won't do it before nine- 
thirty or a quarter to ten. We have lots of 
time. . . . Before we go, Rudolph, I want you 
to promise me one thing. I want you to 
escape; it is part of our plan for spreading 
terror that the thrower of the first bomb 
should go scot-free. Nothing spreads terror 
like sequence and success. I want you to 
promise that whatever happens you will keep 
away, and not give yourself up." 



219 



The Bomb 



"I promise," I replied hastily. "Shall I 
throw it in any case?" I asked, feverishly 
passing my tongue over my dried lips, and 
longing, I suppose, for even the chance of a 
respite. 

"If the police do not interfere," he said, 
"we are too glad to keep quiet; but if they 
come to break up a quiet meeting, if they 
draw their clubs and begin to bludgeon, I 
should throw it; and if you can remember 
as you throw it, throw yourself down on your 
hands and knees, too; the shock will be tre- 
mendous." 

"Shall we go, then?" I asked, and turned 
to look for the grip; but Lingg had picked it 
up. Of a sudden he put it down again and 
put his hand on my shoulder; his eyes on 
mine were full of kindness. 

"There's time, Rudolph," he said, "even 
now, to turn back. I cannot bear to think 
of your being in it. Leave it to me. Trust 
me; it will be better." 

With that strange feeling of equality still 
thrilling in me, I exclaimed, "No, no; you 
mistake me. I am more than willing; all 
those injured and murdered people are call- 
ing to me. Don't let's talk, man. My mind 
is made up. From head to foot I am one 
purpose." 

He threw back his head, then picked up 



220 






The Bomb 



my grip, and we left the room. As we passed 
through the little shop, the boy told us that 
Engel had gone to the meeting half an hour 
before, and we set off at a good round pace. 
So wrought up was I, so excited, I had not 
noticed that the beautiful day was all over- 
cast, that a thunder-storm was clouding up, 
till Lingg drew my attention to it. 

A minute afterwards, as it seems to me now, 
we had reached our goal; we were in Des- 
plaines Street, between Lake Street and Ran- 
dolph Street. Desplaines Street is a mean 
thoroughfare on the west side, three or four 
hundred yards from the river, and fully half 
a mile from the edge of the business centre 
downtown. The Haymarket, as the place 
was afterwards called, is nearly a hundred 
yards away. As we came up from the south 
we passed the Desplaines Street police 
station, presided over by Inspector Bonfield; 
there was already a crowd of police at the 
door. 

"They mean business," said Lingg, "to- 
night, and so do we." 

When we got to the outskirts of the meeting 
we saw the mayor of the city, with one or two 
officials; the mayor was an elderly man called 
Carter Harrison. He had been asked to 
prohibit the meeting, but was unwilling to 
interfere with what might be a lawful assembly; 



221 



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he attended in person to prevent any incite- 
ment to rioting. 

The speakers' stand was a mere truck-wag- 
on, placed where a blind alley intersected 
the street, in the centre of the block. We 
were at the rear of the building occupied by 
the Crane Brothers' great elevator factory. 
I should think two or three thousand people 
were already gathered together. 

Spies had finished speaking as we came up. 
He was followed by Parsons, who rose to the 
height of the argument if ever a man did. 
He began by asking the crowd to be quite 
orderly; he assured them that if they kept 
order, and simply gave expression to their 
grievances, the American people would hear 
them with sympathy, and would see that they 
had fair play. He really believed this clap- 
trap. He went on to say that their grievances 
were terrible; unarmed men, women, and 
children had been shot down. Why were 
they shot? he asked, and then began his re- 
form speech. 

The mayor listened to everything, and 
evidently saw nothing in the utterances to 
object to. "Parsons's speech," he said after- 
wards, "was a good political speech." After 
Parsons had made an end, the Englishman, 
Samuel Fielden, with his bushy beard, stood 
up and began to prose. Some rain-drops 



222 



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fell, a lull came in the rising wind; darkness 
began to overshadow us. Evidently the storm 
was at hand. 

The crowd began to drift away at the edges. 
I was alone and curiously watchful. I saw 
the mayor and the officials move off towards 
the business part of the town. It looked for 
a few minutes as if everything was going to 
pass over in peace; but I was not relieved. I 
could hear my own heart beating, and sudden- 
ly I felt something in the air; it was sentient 
with expectancy. I slowly turned my head. 
I was on the very outskirts of the crowd, and 
as I turned I saw that Bonfield had marched 
out his police, and was minded to take his 
own way with the meeting now the mayor 
had left. I felt personal antagonism stiffen 
my muscles. It grew darker and darker 
every moment. Suddenly there came a flash, 
and then a peal of thunder. At the end of 
the flash, as it seemed to me, I saw the white 
clubs falling, saw the police striking down the 
men running along the side-walk. At once 
my mind was made up. I put my left hand 
on the outside of my trousers to hold the bomb 
tight, and my right hand into the pocket, and 
drew the tape. I heard a little rasp. I began 
to count slowly, "One, two, three, four, five, 
six, seven"; as I got to seven the police were 
quite close to me, bludgeoning every one 



The Bomb 



furiously. Two or three of the foremost had 
drawn their revolvers. The crowd were fly- 
ing in all directions. Suddenly there was a 
shot, and then a dozen shots, all, it seemed to 
me, fired by the police. Rage blazed in me. 

I took the bomb out of my pocket, careless 
whether I was seen or not, and looked for the 
right place to throw it; then I hurled it over 
my shoulder high in the air, towards the 
middle of the police, and at the same moment 
I stumbled forward, just as if I had fallen, 
throwing myself on my hands and face, for I 
had seen the spark. Tt seemed as if I had 
been on my hands for an eternity, when I 
was crushed to the ground, and my ears split 
with the roar. I scrambled to my feet again, 
gasping. Men were thrown down in front 
of me, and were getting up on their hands. I 
heard groans and cries, and shrieks behind 
me. I turned round; as I turned a strong 
arm was thrust through mine, and I heard 
Lingg say— 

"Come, Rudolph, this way"; and he drew 
me to the side-walk, and we walked past 
where the police had been. 

"Don't look," he whispered suddenly; 
"don't look." 

But before he spoke I had looked, and what 
I saw will be before my eyes till I die. The 
street was one shambles; in the very centre 



224 






The Bomb 



of it a great pit yawned, and round it men 
lying, or pieces of men, in every direction, and 
close to me, near the side-walk as I passed, a 
leg and foot torn off, and near by two huge 
pieces of bleeding red meat, skewered together 
with a thigh-bone. My soul sickened; my 
senses left me; but Lingg held me up with 
superhuman strength, and drew me along. 

"Hold yourself up, Rudolph," he whispered; 
"come on, man," and the next moment we 
had passed it all, and I clung to him, trembling 
like a leaf. When we got to the end of the 
block I realized that I was wet through from 
head to foot, as if I had been plunged in cold 
water. 

"I must stop," I gasped. "I cannot walk, 
Lingg." 

"Nonsense," he said; "take a drink of 
this," and he thrust a flask of brandy into my 
hand. The brandy I poured down my throat 
set my heart beating again, allowed me to 
breathe, and I walked on with him. 

" How you are shaking," he said. "Strange, 
you neurotic people; you do everything per- 
fectly, splendidly, and then break down like 
women. Come, I am not going to leave you; 
but for God's sake throw off that shaken, 
white look. Drink some more." 

I tried to; but the flask was empty. He 
put it back in his pocket. 



The Bomb 



"Here is the bottle," he said. "I have 
brought enough; but we must get to the depot." 

We saw fire-engines with police on them, 
galloping like madmen in the direction whence 
we had come. The streets were crowded 
with people, talking, gesticulating, like actors. 
Every one seemed to know of the bomb al- 
ready, and to be talking about it. I noticed 
that even here, half a mile away, the pave- 
ment was covered with pieces of glass; all 
the windows had been broken by the ex- 
plosion. 

As we came in front of the depot, just be- 
fore we passed into the ful! glare of the arc- 
lamps, Lingg said — 

"Let me look at you," and as he let go my 
arm, I almost fell; my legs were like German 
sausages; they felt as if they had no bones in 
them, and would bend in any direction; in 
spite of every effort they would shake. 

"Come, Rudolph," he said, "we'll stop 
and talk; but you must come to yourself. 
Take another drink, and think of nothing. I 
will save you; you are too good to lose. 
Come, dear friend, don't let them crow over 



us." 



My heart seemed to be in my mouth, but I 
swallowed it down. I took another swig of 
brandy, and then a long drink of it. It might 
have been water for all I tasted; but it seemed 



The Bomb 



to do me some little good. In a minute or so 
I had got hold of myself. 

"I'm all right," I said; "what is there to do 
now ?" 

"Simply to go through the depot," he said, 
"as if there were nothing the matter, and take 
the train." 

I pulled myself together, and we entered 
the depot; but when we came in sight of the 
barrier shutting off the train for New York, 
we saw that some news must have got through, 
for already there were two policemen stand- 
ing beside the usual ticket-collectors. Lingg, 
with his hawk's eyes, saw them first, a hun- 
dred yards away. 

"You'll have to speak, Rudolph," he said. 
"If you're not able to, we'll go back and take 
the train outside Chicago. Your name is 
Willie Roberts; but you will have to speak 
for us both, because your accent is so much 
better than mine. Can you ?" (I nodded.) 
"Now, your very best," he said, as we reached 
the barrier. 

The next moment, "Where for?" called 
out the official. 

"New York," I answered, and stopped in 
front of him, while Lingg produced my ticket. 

"Your name?" he said. 

"On the ticket," I replied, yawning, "Wil- 
lie Roberts." 



The Bomb 



"Thought you were one of those Dutch- 
men, " he said, laughing. "There has been 
an explosion, or something, on the East Side, 
hasn't there ?" 

"I don't know," I returned; "but there'll 
be no peace, I guess, till we've had a good 
scrap." 

"That's so," he said, and we all laughed. 

The next moment he had checked my tic- 
ket, and handed the long strip back to me. 
I said — 

"My friend is just coming with me; he'll 
be back in a minute." 

Lingg bowed to him, smiling, and took my 
arm as we went on. 

"Splendid," he said; "nobody could have 
done it better. They are without a trace of 
suspicion, and it is rather well for them that 
they did not suspect." 

"Why?" I asked. 

He looked at me with a quizzical smile on 
his face. 

"Because," he said, "I have another bomb 
in my pocket, and they should not have taken 
either of us alive." 

I don't know why, but the mere mention of 
another bomb set me trembling again. Again 
I could hear the infernal roar; I shivered 
from head to foot, and my heart stopped. 

How I got into the train I don't know. 






The Bomb 



Lingg must have almost lifted me in; but when 
I came to myself I was in a first-class carriage, 
in the corner. Lingg had put my grip in 
front of me on the seat, and was sitting beside 
me. Suddenly I felt deadly sick; I told him 
so. He took me out to the cabinet, and I was 
sick as I have never been sick in my life, 
throwing up again and again and again, feel- 
ing the while wretchedly weak and ill, as if 
every atom of strength had been sucked out 
of me. He gave me a drink of cold water, 
and then some water with a dash of brandy 
in it, and threw open the window, and soon 
I felt a little better. 

"I cannot sit up, Lingg. I'm sure to give 
myself away. I'm so weak and ill; I don't 
know how or why," and all broken up I began 
to cry weakly. 

"That's all right, Rudolph," said Lingg 
gently. "I will sit with you till you're better. 
Can you be alone for five minutes while I 
send a telegram?" 

"Yes," I replied; "but I wish you wouldn't 

8°-" 

"All right," he said in the cheeriest tone. 

"I will sit with you and write the telegram; 

but if you show yourself ill, people will remark 

you. Pull your soft hat down over your 

forehead, and we'll go back to your seat; I'll 

write the telegram there, and remember, I'm 



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going to sit with you till you are all right. All 
I ask you to do is to speak when need is, 
because my wretched accent will give us away 
as Germans. Say vou've had too much to 
drink." 

A few minutes afterwards the train started. 
I told the conductor as he passed that my 
friend was coming to the next station with me, 
and gave him a dollar bill. I said we wanted 
to talk; we had not met for a long time; I was 
just passing through Chicago, and we had had 
a drink together. 

I noticed that Lingg had opened the window 
on my side; the fresh air and the rain were 
beating on my head and face. In a few min- 
utes I began to feel better, and strange to say, 
almost as soon as I began to get better I 
became conscious of being inordinately 
hungry. 

"I am famished," I said to Lingg. "Shiv- 
ering with cold and famished; but I'm all 
right." 

"I'll get you a basin of soup," he said, "at 
the next station. I'm glad you're all right. 
Thank God, the colour is coming back to 
your cheeks; we've had luck." 

"I'm ashamed," I said, "breaking down 
like this, and putting you in danger." 

"Nonsense," he returned. "Don't think 
that. You're the more to be honoured for 



230 



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having done what you did, in spite of the body's 
weakness." 

I felt better after that. 

All this time there were only a couple of 
women in the car, and they were at the other 
end of it; they did not like the open window, I 
suppose. 

In twenty minutes we stopped, and Lingg 
got out and got me a basin of soup; as soon as 
I had taken it, I felt stronger. I realized then 
that I had a terrible, racking headache, and 
was very weary. 

"Go to sleep," said Lingg, when I told 
him, and he shut the window, and settled the 
grip in front of me so that I could put my feet 
on it. "Go to sleep; I will sit by you," and 
in a moment, as it seemed to me, I was asleep. 
When I woke, two or three hours afterwards, 
the train was stopping again. We had just 
reached 

"Do you feel better?" Lingg asked. "I 
ought to get out here, if you can goon alone; 
or shall I stay the night with you ?" 

"I am quite well, now," I replied bravely. 

"Well," he said, "you will reach New York 
in thirty hours, and you sail the next morning; 
your berth is taken on the Cunarder, 'Scotia/ 
second cabin, still under the name of Will 
Roberts; don't miss her, and get off at Liver- 
pool. Ida will communicate with you at the 



231 



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post office in Liverpool and Cardiff, and Will 
Roberts can write to her to Altona, under the 
name of Jane Teller. Do you understand? 
Here in this book everything's put down, to- 
gether with a code which I have made out 
for you; the book to which the code refers is 
here, too. Nobody on earth can read that 
script; but if I were you I should write nothing 
for some months, not for many months if 
things go badly; but you will be the best judge 
of that. Remember, prudence is always best 
in case you are in doubt, and remember, too, 
I have your promise to escape; you must not 
be caught; you will remember?" 

I nodded. "We did right, didn't we?" I 
asked weakly. 

"Sure, Rudolph," he answered. "Sure. 
Have no doubt. I am going to tread the 
same path, you can bet on that." His eyes 
were shining like a god's. 

"I have no doubt of you," I said; "but I be- 
gin to doubt whether the path is the right one." 

"That's because you are shaken and ill," 
he replied gravely. "If you were well, you 
would not doubt. Think of what they did; 
the girl they shot, and the little boy! And 
now good-bye, dear friend, good-bye!" Once 
again, and for the last time, we kissed. 

The next moment he had left the train, and 
I was alone. I could not be alone! I sprang 



232 



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up and hurried to the door to call him; the 
deadly cold came back on me, but I pulled 
myself together. After all, to call him back 
would endanger him and Ida! I would not. 
I stood at the door and looked after him, saw 
him striding down the platform, the same 
swift, silent stride. I noticed the broad 
shoulders, the strong figure. I took a full 
breath and went back to my seat. It was 
half-past twelve o'clock. A new day, I said 
to myself. My God! a new day. . . . 

In a few minutes the conductor came in 
and asked me if I would not like to sleep. 

"I have made you up the second berth 
from here," he said, "number 10; your friend 
thought you had better not be disturbed be- 
fore. Been ill, ain't you?" 

I was passing through Chicago, I said, and 
we had had a big dinner, and I had taken too 
much to drink; I had not seen my friend for a 
long time. 

"I guessed that was it," he replied. "I 
smelt the brandy. It isn't good to get out on 
the bust like that, unless you are accustomed 
to soak. I nearly killed myself a while back. 
I didn't drink very much, either, half a bottle 
of Bourbon, I guess; but I just got up and 
wanted to fight everybody. I was mad drunk; 
I'd have fought an elevated railroad, if it had 
come near me, I would." 



233 



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The common talk brought me back to the 
common everyday life; did me infinite good. 

"Sit down and have a drink," I said. 

"No, no!" he replied, shaking his head. 
"No, I have sworn off, truth! I told the 
missis I never would agen, and I won't. . . . 
We've two children, two girls, one fair, and 
t'other dark. Ye never saw sich a pair of 
peaches! I ain't going to drink what ought 
to go to them, no sir. I only make a hun- 
dred dollars a month at this job; of course, 
now and then one gets a dollar from some 
one but they don't hand it out easy, the 
rich. . . . 

"My wife's a daisy of a manager, but it 
costs us forty dollars a month to get along, 
and what with clothes, and rent, and taxes, 
we cannot save more than thirty dollars a 
month, no sir; and in twenty years that won't 
be a fortune, will it, not for two of 'em ? The 
purtiest children ever you see. Here they 
are" (and as he spoke he took out his pocket- 
book and showed me the photographs). 
"There's Joon, and there's Jooly. We call 
'em like that because they was born in those 
months. Ain't they cute! — What?" 

Of course, I praised the children though he 
needed no encouragement. 

"Their mother is a Kaintucky woman, I'm 
from about here myself — a hoosier. You're 



234 



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on the road, ain't you? In dry goods, I 
guess, from the grip?" 

"Yes," I replied; "going back to New 
York. Come out again in a week." 

"I thought so," he said; "I sized ye up 
right the first moment I seed ye." 

The bell rang and he had to go off and 
attend to his duties; but not before I told him 
to call me about nine o'clock in the morning, 
and bring me coffee, as I felt real bad. He 
said he would, and I crawled into my bunk 
and tried to go to sleep. At first it seemed 
impossible; but I put my whole resolution to 
the matter. I must not think, I said to my- 
self, I must sleep, and in order to sleep, as 
Lingg said, I must think of something else. 
But my brain seemed empty, and whenever 
I was alone there was the spark against the 
sky and I heard the roar, and saw that ghast- 
ly sight. Then I thought of Elsie, but that 
tore my heart. No; I would not think of the 
past .... 

At last I found the way; I would think of 
the conductor's two children; the dark one, 
and the fair one. "The purtiest children in 
Buffalo," the one seven years old and the 
other five, and their mother, too, who was a 
daisy of a manager, and the father saving 
and working. The pretty "peaches." They 
seemed to be anything but pretty in the pho- 



235 



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tographs; yet the father's praise made them 
beautiful to me — and I remembered no 
more. 

The cheerful conductor woke me up in the 
morning with the coffee, and as he woke me, 
I started up and struck my head against the 
top berth, and fell back, shaking. 

"Good God!" I cried; "how you startled 
me!" 

"An over-night drunk on brandy is the 
damnedest thing the next morning. Got a 
bad mouth?" 

"Awful," I said, "and bad nerves; I'm all 
ill, shaky." 

"Don't I know it," he said. "You get up, 
and get into your clothes, and sit down here by 
the open window. It's just a beautiful day, 
warm and sweet; would bring the dead to 
life; and there's your cawfee, just as good 
cawfee as you kin git anywhere, and the milk 
in it'll do you good. If I were you I'd throw 
that brandy out of the window." 

"Well," I said, "my friend told me to take 
a hair of the dog that bit me." 

"Oh, pshaw!" he exclaimed, "there ain't 
no sense in that. A young man like you'll 
get better without anything." 

"I think you're right," I said, which seemed 
to gratify him. 

"Have you heard the noos?" he asked. I 



The Bomb 



shook my head; I was afraid my voice would 
shake. 

"They've been throwing bombs in Chicago, " 
he said. "Them damned foreigners have killed 
a hundred and sixty policemen in the Hay- 
market." 

A hundred and sixty! I stared at him and 
Lingg's word again, "the Hay market." A 
hundred and sixty ! 

"Good God!" I cried; "how awful!" 

"That's right," he said. "The police have 
made two thousand arrests this morning. I 
guess they'll get the men that threw the bomb, 
and rope's cheap in Chicago. They'll make 
'em all dance without a floor, damn them!" 

"Well," I said, slipping out of my berth; 
"I don't feel much like dancing." 

"Put on your boots," he said, "and come 
to the window here," and I did as I was told. 

I had stood the first test, and already sleep 
had renewed me; the blessed oblivion had 
knit up the ravelled sleeve of my thoughts, 
and I was once more master of myself, with- 
out any fear now; but with an infinite regret. . . 

I would not think of it, and in order not to 
think of it, I thought of Elsie; but that was 
too bitter to me. What would she think? 
What could she think ? Would she try to see 
me? Would she guess? I feared she would. 
I dared not think of her. 



The Bomb 



As soon as I could I got the conductor again, 
and set him talking about his children. All 
I had to do was to put in a "Really ?" or a " You 
don't say!" at the proper moment, and he 
would go off again at score, telling me his 
own history, and his wife's, and the whole 
story of the children — how he had saved 
Jooly in whooping cough by giving her a hot 
bath; how Joonie could walk before she was a 
year old; "yes, sir, she has the biggest legs 
you ever saw" — everything. I could write 
their family history now. . . . 

But I was very sorry when he handed me 
over to the next conductor, a taciturn Yankee, 
who had hardly a word to say. I feared the 
small, grey, ferretty eyes of him, so I bought 
some books in the car, and set myself to read 
them ; but I do not know what they were about. 
Still, they gave me an occupied look, and kept 
me from awkward questions. Dinner time 
came and passed, then tea time, and then 
time for sleep again, but I hardly dared to 
get into my berth. I felt sure that I should 
not sleep, and I was right. My headache 
grew acute; the chunketty-chunk of the train 
hammered on my nerves. I never closed 
my eyes; but I got peace by using Lingg's 
formula, and steadfastly thinking of unim- 
portant things, and after I had done this a 
certain number of times I began to get con- 



238 



The Bomb 



fidence. So long as one is master of one's 
mind, I said to myself, one is master of fate, 
and except for those dread hours from the 
Haymarket till Lingg left me, I had never 
lost my self-control. The train went on — 
chunketty-chunk, chunk, chunk! chunketty- 
chunk-chunk! all through the night. I think 
I saw every hour on my watch. 

But at last the night waned to an end, and 
as soon as I decently could, I got up, before 
six o'clock, and saw the sun rise in majesty 
over the Hudson. We were running along- 
side the great river to New York. I got my 
breakfast at seven o'clock, and at ten I was 
out of the train, without exciting the suspicion 
of any one, I am sure. I had played the game 
to the extent of telling the taciturn conductor 
that I was in the dry goods, and not very rich; 
but if he would have a drink with me, I should 
be pleased. He shook his head. 

"Nary drink," he said. 

"A cigar, then?" I queried. 

"I don't mind," he said, and I got him a 
fifteen cent cigar, as if that must be a good 
one, and he appreciated the attention. . . . 

Back in New York again! I had only been 
away a little more than a year; surely I had 
lived fifty years in the twelve months; a long 
lifetime! . . . 

I would not go where I was known. Where 



239 



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would Will Roberts go ? — a second rate hotel. 
I walked to one, had a bath, and then in my 
room went through all my clothes to see if 
there was anything with my name on it. 
Nothing. I wrote one or two envelopes, 
addressed to Will Roberts, in different hand- 
writings, dirtied them, tore them at the corners, 
shoved one in the grip, put another in my 
pocket, together with Lingg's precious book, 
which I went through hurriedly. I found in 
it a letter for "dear Will" which I thrust 
into my pocket, to read at leisure. I was 
eager to get out of the room into the open 
air, where I could be alone and at ease. I 
took the street car a block or two from the 
hotel, and rode right out to Central Park, 
three or four miles away. 

God ! What a beautiful place it is. I made 
my way right through the park to Riverside 
Drive, and sat down looking over the Hudson, 
and there I read Lingg's letter: here it is — 

"Dear Will, 

"When you read this you will be in New 
York, or perhaps in your own loved England 
again, or will it be in the Welsh hills ? Wher- 
ever it is, I know that you won't forget me, 
and you must know I shall never forget you. 
W 7 e may meet again, but it is not likely. You 
told me you would make your home on the 
other side, and never return, and I think vou 



240 



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are right, for the climate here doesn't suit you. 
I shall never leave Chicago. Still, our spirits 
have met, and have been one in purpose and 
love, and that seems good to me. 

"Ever yours, 
"Jack." 

I went and had lunch in an Italian restau- 
rant and bought the papers. There never was 
anything like them; they were all filled with 
the wildest lies of hatred and fear. For the 
first time I saw the phrase that the police 
were using "the drag-net" in Chicago. They 
had already arrested four thousand persons 
on suspicion; among them Spies and Fielden 
and Fischer, and were searching for Parsons. 
Parsons, it seems, had left the town within an 
hour of the throwing of the bomb. The first 
papers were filled with the idea that he had 
thrown the bomb, and the hunt after him was 
hot and fierce. 

I walked about the whole of the afternoon; 
the sunlight and air calming my nerves. I 
had only glanced through the lying papers. 

The next morning I had to be on board 
by nine o'clock; that night in the hotel I 
slept a little. At five o'clock I got up, dressed 
myself, shaved clean; then walked down to 
the landing-stage and went on board the 
tender which took me to the big steamer, and 



241 



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found my berth. There I decided in my own 
mind that I was born in Pembrokeshire and 
was going back to my native land. My 
accent, I knew, would pass me anywhere as an 
American. 

On board the steamer they were all talking 
of the bomb-throwing in Chicago. Every 
one was hoping that Parsons, who threw the 
bomb, would be arrested. They knew all 
about it now. Sixty policemen had been 
wounded, eight had been killed outright, 
seven others were not expected to live; but a 
great many of these wounded persons, I 
ascertained afterwards, had been wounded 
by police bullets. The accused persons, Spies, 
Fischer, Fielden, were already charged as 
accessories before the fact of the murder of 
Mathias J. Degan; Degan being the first of 
the dead policemen whose body was identified. 

The accusation filled me with contempt. I 
knew better than any one that neither Spies, 
nor Fischer, nor Fielden were accessories 
before the fact, or after the fact; nor, indeed, 
were they connected with the fact in any 
remotest way. Of course, their innocence 
must appear in due course. I dismissed the 
accusation with a pitying smile; yet I should 
not have been so foolish-sure; I ought to have 
known better than most people the hollow 
mockery of American justice. 



242 



Chapter X 



npHAT passage from New York to Liver- 
**■ pool on the "Scotia" was a most 
blessed interlude. I went on board with 
jangling nerves, plagued by the incessant 
questionings of conscience, maddened with 
memories of loss never to be made good, loss 
of friendship and of love. I felt like one torn 
up by the roots and tossed out to misery and 
death; yet as soon as I got on board and we 
left the land behind us, the healing processes 
of nature began their divine work. There 
was something that appealed to me in the 
quiet English manners of the officers; there 
was rest and sympathy in the courtesy and 
consideration of the stewards; a sort of slow 
content in the lives of all these people that 
acted on me as a perpetual lenitive. I talked 
very little; but I went about where men talked, 
for the conversation of others took me out of 
my own sad and bitter thoughts, and allowed 
me to rest. 

The very first day every one went to get 
weighed, and I was drawn along with the 
others. In Chicago I had weighed about a 
hundred and sixty pounds, now to my wonder- 



243 



The Bomb 



nient I was just under a hundred and fifty. 
I had lost ten pounds in three days, yet I had 
eaten and drunk as usual. I began to under- 
stand how terrible the strain had been. 

I did not sleep well the first days on board, 
the sea air seemed to excite me; every hour, 
too, I grew more anxious about Lingg, and 
the conviction that I should never see Elsie 
again was an aching, an irremediable grief. 
I could not help thinking of her, wondering 
what would become of her, how she would 
take my unexpected and inexplicable absence. 
My thoughts ran on the same theme, from 
Lingg's danger to Elsie's sorrow, morning, 
noon and night, like a monkey in a cage, till 
my poor mind was all sore and smarting. 

One morning the steward told me I did not 
look well, and when I confessed I could not 
sleep he advised me to see the doctor and get a 
draught; so I hunted out the doctor, and found 
one of the most charming of men, a little 
Scotchman, called Philip, dark and nice- 
looking, sympathetic, too, and quick-witted, 
who was something more than a master of 
his trade. A doctor begins by studying 
diseases and ends by studying his patients; 
that was where Doctor Edward Philip had 
begun, though he was still under thirty. He 
told me it was easy to make me sleep, and he 
gave me a small dose of chloral. 



244 



The Bomb 



A sudden thought came to me, and I asked 
him why I could not have a dose of morphia. 

"No reason," he said, "except that it has 
after-consequences," and he showed me a 
little bottle filled with tiny tabloids of mor- 
phia, one-tenth of a grain in each. 

I said nothing that night; but I noted the 
fact, and determined to cultivate the doctor, 
I went off, for the present well content with 
my dose of chloral. Philip had told me that 
exercise was a good thing, so I paced the deck 
the whole live-long day, and at eleven o'clock 
I was in my berth, ready for sleep. I took a 
cup of chocolate, and then the chloral, and 
when sleep would not come, I set myself to 
think of my mascot, the two little children of the 
conductor, Joon and Jooly, and his intense 
pride in them, and so drifted into oblivion. 

When I awoke the steward was standing 
by my side. 

"Seven o'clock, sir! You told me to wake 
you at seven." 

I felt a new man. What a blessed thing 
sleep is! I got up and dressed, and from 
that moment I date my convalescence. 

Day after day I used to go in and have a 
talk with the doctor, and long before the end 
of the voyage, I had managed to buy from him 
the little bottle of morphia tablets, half of 
which I kept in a glass bottle in my trousers 



245 



The Bomb 



pocket, and half in a cardboard pill box in my 
waistcoat pocket, so that in case of arrest I 
could immediately swallow them. I was 
determined not to be caught alive; but strange 
as it may seem, I had absolutely no fear of 
being arrested. Life offered so little to me — 
life without Elsie and Lingg was so barren 
and tedious a waste — that I did not care how 
soon it ended, so long as it did not end in pub- 
lic shame, and on the scaffold. The assurance 
that I had with me an easy method of escape 
helped my overwrought nerves to rest. 

As the days passed and we swung into the 
clear sunlight and dancing air of mid-Atlantic, 
my spirits began to recover their normal tone. 
Day by day I grew stronger, and all too soon 
we sighted land; about eleven o'clock one 
beautiful May morning we ran up the Mersey 
to Liverpool. I had been directed to a quiet, 
second-class hotel by Doctor Philip, and after 
thanking him for all his kindness, I went on 
shore. I had shaved regularly on board ship, 
and I had not the slightest fear of being re- 
cognized. 

I had never been in England before; the 
houses seemed to me tiny-small, and innumer- 
able. The railway-engines looked like toy- 
engines; the wagons on the railway like toy- 
wagons after the fifty-ton freight wagons of 
the American railways. But Liverpool re- 



246 



The Bomb 



minded me of Hamburg, again and again, in 
a hundred ways; the English people, too, 
reminded me of Germans and my childhood. 
They were slighter people than the Germans, 
but a little taller; better-looking, I thought, 
and better dressed, wearing an air of greater 
comfort. On every side there were evidences 
of greater wealth; this little island was evident- 
ly the centre of a great empire. 

When I got to the hotel, after my supper, I 
took up an evening paper, and the first thing 
I saw, staring at me, was a little paragraph 
headed " Chicago ": 

"The Arrest of the Anarchist Leader." 
My heart sank; was it Lingg? Every word 
of the telegraphed account was photographed 
on my brain. The details were meagre; no 
name was mentioned; but the bare report 
scared me. I wanted to know more; but there 
was nothing to be known. The night passed 
for me in a whirl of excited thought. Next 
morning the papers had more details; but 
still no name; yet evidently in some dumb, 
instinctive way the people in Chicago had 
begun to realize that at last the police had 
caught some one worth catching. I felt sure 
it must be Lingg. The reporters spoke of 
him as a "wild beast. ,, How did they get 
that idea? I plagued my brain; but there 
was dislike and fear in every line written 



24' 



The Bomb 



about him. The new captive had made an 
extraordinary impression on the reporters, 
that was clear. I could not sleep. 

I had already discovered in Liverpool a 
place where one could find all the American 
papers, and I went there day after day. About 
a week after my landing, the first Chicago 
paper came to hand; as I opened it the para- 
graph jumped at me: "The Arrest of Louis 
Lingg." My heart turned to water. I was 
soon able to reconstruct the whole story, and 
I began to understand the reporter's adjec- 
tives: "a daring terrorist/ ' "the bomb-maker," 
"the wild beast, Lingg." 

The assistant chief of police, a man called 
Hermann Schuettler, was not only a brave 
man, but a very powerful one; he had once 
killed a tough in Chicago with a single blow 
of his fist. When information reached the 
police headquarters about Lingg and where 
he lived, Schuettler at once undertook to arrest 
him. The police, provided with a full de- 
scription of Lingg, surrounded the block while 
Schuettler went to his house. But the bird 
had flown. The informer's information, how- 
ever, was very complete. He evidently knew 
the little carpenter's workshop near the river 
where Lingg did odd jobs when out of work. 
Schuettler and an assistant, Loewenstein, 
made their way there. It was a frame build- 



248 



The Bomb 



ing of one story, divided up into a large work- 
ing-room and two small bedrooms. The 
door of the workshop was locked; Schuettler 
put his shoulder against the lock, and burst 
into the room. At the sound Lingg turned 
from where he had been reading, on the other 
side of the fireplace by the window, threw 
down the book, and with one leap was at the 
policeman's throat. Schuettler talked of him- 
self in one of the papers as about the strongest 
man in Chicago; in the way of business he had 
fought dozens of toughs; yet he admitted to 
the reporters that he had never had a struggle 
like that with Lingg. They rolled over the 
floor of the room, righting like demons; Lingg 
steadily dragging Schuettler towards the door. 
They were so braided together and their 
movements were so quick that Loewenstein 
could only look on and await his opportuinty. 
It came at length. Bit by bit Lingg was 
steadily mastering Schuettler; Schuettler ad- 
mitted that he was choking, when he got 
Lingg's thumb in his mouth and almost bit 
it off. In spite of the pain Lingg hung on, 
and in a moment more Schuettler would have 
been unconscious. Lingg was on top, his 
head exposed, and just when he had won, 
Loewenstein struck him senseless with a 
loaded club, and he was carried off to the 
police station before he recovered conscious- 



249 



The Bomb 



ness. Somehow or other everybody knew at 
once that the capture was important. Lingg 
said no word; but the great fight he had made 
impressed people, and the mere being of the 
man was so intense that every one wrote of 
him as "the leader of the terrorists." 

Thinking over the whole story, I could not 
help asking myself how Lingg's name had got 
out. At once it flashed across my mind that he 
had been given away, that Raben had de- 
nounced him. I felt it to my finger tips — the 
white snake! I had a terrible night, reproach- 
ing myself for ever having had anything to do 
with Raben; a terrible night! 

The next day I went again to the post office, 
and found a letter for Willie Roberts. It was 
from Ida. The letter was purposely obscure, 
yet plain enough for me. Ida began by tell- 
ing me that her Jack had been taken ill, 
dangerously ill; she was frightened, though 
she still hoped for the best. His message to 
me was to keep my promise; he wished me to 
remember, too, that sick men often did note- 
worthy things. Ida went on to say that she 
was in the sick-room every day; her life was 
there, and she scarcely lived away from it. 

Herewith ended the immediately personal 
part of Ida's letter. She told me, besides, 
that she had had a long visit from a young 
lady who was a terrible spit-fire, with an 



250 



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immense affection for Master Will. The 
girl knew why Will had run away from her; 
forgave him freely, and would go to him 
whenever he wanted her. "If I am any judge 
of love," Ida wrote, "this is the real thing." 
The girl's mother, however, seemed to think 
Will was a ne'er-do-weel, which only showed 
how little she knew him. Ida had promised 
to give the girl any message Will cared to 
send. And Jack wished to add that R. was 
from Kerioth. 

These were the main points of the letter; 
I was "to keep my promise not to be caught, 
and expect some deed or other from Lingg." 
My guess that Raben was the traitor was 
justified. "R. was from Kerioth" bothered 
me a little till I remembered that Judas was 
from Kerioth. Elsie had forgiven me, and 
would come to me if I sent for her. Now 
what message should I send in reply ? Just 
this — I should keep my promise to my friend, 
and begged my love to forget me. I could 
hardly bear to write it, and I was glad after- 
wards that Elsie did not accept my decision 
as final. I need hardly say I wrote my reply 
in such a way that it could not have excited 
suspicion, even if it had fallen into the hands 
of Bonfield himself, or Schuettler. 

The more I thought of Ida's letter, the more 
I wondered what Lingg meant by saying that 



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even prisoners could do " noteworthy things"; 
surely he was powerless there, in prison, for 
good or evil ; or why had he fought so desperate- 
ly for freedom? Even I had no conception 
of his prescience and courage. 

My own part seemed utterly unworthy. I 
wanted to go back and give myself up; but 
there was my promise to Lingg; he had re- 
peated it in the train, and now Ida had re- 
iterated it. Well, I would go on to London 
and see if I could not influence the English 
press a little, for clearly the English news- 
papers on this matter were merely copying 
the American newspapers; they repeated the 
sensational adjectives of the Western reporters, 
only giving less space to the accounts, because 
the matter was not of such interest in England. 

One thing appeared clearly from all the 
Chicago papers, that the whole American 
population was scared out of its wits by the 
Haymarket bomb. Every day the Chicago 
police found a new bomb. I thought they 
had started a special manufactory for them, 
till I read in the "Leader" of New York that 
the same piece of gas-piping had already 
served as a new bomb on seven different 
occasions. Captain Bonfield and his satel- 
lites were very busy; they had used the "drag- 
net" to some effect. In ten days they had 
arrested over ten thousand innocent persons, 



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nearly all foreigners, on one pretext or another, 
and not an anarchist, except Lingg, in the 
whole crowd. Every day there were illegal 
arrests by the hundred; every day hundreds 
of innocent persons were thrown into prison 
without a shadow of evidence; the policemen 
who could denounce and arrest the greatest 
number of people got the quickest advance- 
ment. The whole town was frightened to 
idiocy. 

I went off to London the same day and 
took lodgings in Soho. A quiet sitting-room 
and bedroom cost me fifteen shillings a week, 
and my breakfast each morning, a cup of tea 
and a roll, cost me only three shillings and 
sixpence a week more. I could easily live 
for a couple of years, even if my press work 
brought me in nothing. 

It was well that I had not reckoned too 
much on my pen. I wrote an account of what 
I called "The Reign of Terror in Chicago, " 
about a column in length, and took it round 
to the London newspapers; but I never could 
find an editor; not one of them ever kept any 
office hours; or, more probably, not one of 
them would see a stranger without an intro- 
duction. It is harder to have a talk with an 
English editor in London than with a Secre- 
tary of State in America, or the President 
himself. 



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Tired out with calling and seeing no one, I 
made fair copies of the article, and sent them 
to five or six papers. I received no answer. 
I thought the article might be too descriptive, 
so I wrote one full of personalities, giving 
little pen-pictures of Spies, and Fielden the 
Englishman, and Engel. I hoped that if 
this article were accepted I might follow it 
up with a pen-portrait of Lingg; but I need 
not have worried myself; not one of the papers 
published the article; not one of them even 
returned it to me. I began to see that what 
I had regarded as the dulness of English 
papers, was a sort of mental twilight which 
suited the eyes of the readers. 

But there is everything in London, every 
quality of thought and talent. I went out 
one day to a meeting of the Social Democra- 
tic Federation, and found people something 
like the men I had known on the other side. 
None of the speakers, however, seemed to me 
extraordinary, There was a thin, hatchet- 
faced man, called Champion, who had been, 
I was told, an officer in the army, and who 
talked wild communism which he did not 
understand. There was a Mr. Hyndman, 
however, a stout, prosperous-looking Jewish 
gentleman, who had read a good deal, and 
who spoke excellently, though he had not, 
perhaps, got hold of the heart of the matter; 



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still, he was honest and earnest, with a per- 
fectly clear understanding of the organized 
social swindle, and that's a good deal to say 
of anyone. Another man made a deep and 
pleasant impression on me. He was below 
middle height, a squarely-built, stout little 
man, with a good round head, ample forehead, 
handsome features, and beautiful, lovable 
blue eyes. I was told he was William Mor- 
ris, the poet, and I listened to him with a good 
deal of interest, though his ideals seemed to 
be rather mediaeval than modern; still, he was 
a charming, unaffected personality. He re- 
minded me of Engel and Fielden; in essential 
kindliness and goodness these three men were 
very much alike. 

It was while attending one of the meetings 
of the Social Democratic Federation that I 
heard of "Reynolds' Newspaper," and I at 
once sent the editor copies of both my articles. 
He rejected "The Reign of Terror in Chica- 
go"; but accepted the personal article, in 
which I described Spies and Fielden and 
Engel. He altered some of my epithets, how- 
ever, and cut out some entirely, so that the 
effect was that of a water-colour sketch on 
which a blurring wet sponge had been freely 
used. 

I should like to speak well of England, for 
it gave me rest and shelter when I was in 



255 



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sorest need. But it was quite plain to me 
that England is still, as in Heine's time, the 
most stubborn upholder of the established 
fact in the whole world. Individualism is 
pushed even further there than it is in Ameri- 
ca, and the remains of a feudal aristocracy 
petrify extravagant inequalities of possession 
and privilege. Poverty is treated as a crime; 
the poorhouses degrade men by the exaction 
of useless work, and by the distribution of 
incredibly bad food. A hundred thousand 
persons are sent to prison annually because 
they can't pay small fines; thousands more are 
imprisoned each year for debt — the last sur- 
vival in Europe of chattel slavery. The 
bankruptcy laws are as barbarous as the 
Inquisition. By inflicting savage terms of 
imprisonment for trifling offences against 
property, English judges have manufactured 
a class of habitual criminals who are hardened 
beyond brutality by the semi-starvation and 
the floggings of the gaols. It is now proposed 
by some authorities to imprison these tortured 
wretches for life. The lower animals are 
treated better in England than in any other 
country in the world; the poor are treated 
like horses in Naples or dogs in Constantinople. 
As I got to know the Englishman better, I 
grew to like him as a well-meaning person 
who wears the biggest fig-leaf he can find; 



256 



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but with time it has slipped out of place, and 
is now worn boldly on the wrong side. 

I spent the whole of June in London, and 
managed to get two or three articles accepted 
by the advanced section of the press. They 
were fairly well paid for, and I lived so cheap- 
ly that I was not forced to dip into my savings. 
Every mail-day I read the Chicago papers, and 
every mail I was more astounded by the lunk- 
headed bungling of the Chicago police, and by 
the curious effect their own cowardice had on 
the American population. The police acted 
on the principle of arresting every foreigner 
they could lay their hands on, and by the mid- 
dle of June they had from twelve to fifteen 
thousand innocent men and women in jail, 
and still continued to discover bombs and 
rifles and anarchist clubs every day. 

When the State Attorney got to work, 
however, to frame a coherent case, he soon 
found that nearly all these arrests were utterly 
illegal and silly; prisoners, in spite of the pro- 
tests of the police, had to be released literally 
by the thousand; there was not a scrap of 
evidence procurable against them. The best 
the prosecution could do was to fix on the 
people connected with the two advanced 
papers, and their friends, and try to make out 
a case against them. Spies, of course, was 
charged, and his assistant, Schwab; Fischer, 



*5 / 



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too, and Fielden, on the ground of certain 
speeches they had made ; Lingg, as the founder 
of the Lehr and Wehr Verein, and poor Engel 
because he had always gone to the advanced 
meetings, and was a convinced admirer of 
Spies. Parsons was charged, too; but he 
could not be found for the moment. 

The attitude of the accused served as a 
contrast to all this cowardice and stupidity. 
Not a single one of them turned State's evi- 
dence, or tried to lay the blame of his position 
on any one else, or attempted to deny the 
beliefs he held. And at length came the 
dramatic climax to this quiet, unacknowl- 
edged superiority of the prisoners. The 
police had not been able to find Parsons; but 
suddenly a letter from Parsons appeared in 
the press, declaring that as he was innocent, he 
would give himself up and be tried with the 
others, and one day, to the general wonder, he 
quietly took train to Chicago, and walked 
into a police station. 

The surrender of Parsons, which was wired 
to London and appeared in the London 
papers, had several results. First of all it 
caused a certain sympathy to be felt towards 
him and his fellow-prisoners. A number of 
Americans began to doubt in their hearts 
whether a man who was guilty would give 
himself up, and if Parsons was not guilty, 



258 



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none of the eight could be convicted. Yet 
the bomb had been thrown, and some one 
must be punished for throwing it. The 
second effect of Parsons' surrender touched 
me; it would surely force the police to look 
again for the actual thrower of the bomb; 
clearly he was not the man, or he would not 
put his head in the lion's mouth. And this 
entailed the further consequence that the in- 
former who had given Lingg away would prob- 
ably again be put to use. If Lingg and I were 
right in taking Raben to be the informer, he 
would now certainly denounce me to the police, 
and my prolonged absence must confirm his 
suspicion that I was the actual thrower of the 
bomb. 

Two days after the dramatic surrender of 
Parsons came the statement that the thrower 
of the bomb was a German writer named 
Rudolph Schnaubelt, who had made his 
escape and returned to Germany, and was 
now being searched for, especially in Bavaria, 
by the German police. Raben was the in- 
former; of that now I had no doubt; but 
fortunately he knew nothing precisely, his 
suspicions were incapable of proof. I wrote, 
however, at once to Ida saying that I was quite 
well, and very eager to see Chicago again. I 
should like to come out at once if I could do 
any good, or be of any service. Would she 



259 



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let me know what Jack thought? Ever 
yours and his, "Will." 

Ten days after I had sent this letter I re- 
cieved a note from Ida, written evidently after 
Parsons had given himself up, and I had been 
denounced to the police. In this note she 
begged me not to leave London; Jack was a 
little better, would recover, the doctors thought; 
but in all cases, hoped I would make myself 
a home in my own land. Ida added that she 
saw my little friend frequently, who sent me 
a thousand loving messages. 

I did not answer this letter. I could say 
nothing to Elsie, except that she ought to 
forget me as soon as she could, and the line 
of conduct marked out for me did not become 
more pleasant on reflection. I felt I ought to 
be in Chicago making a full confession which 
would free the innocent; but my promise bound 
me, and the feeling that Lingg was sure to be 
right in claiming its fulfilment. Besides, 
my confession even would not free Lingg, 
though I took all the blame and guilt on 
myself, for the latest Chicago papers stated 
definitely that materials for bombs had been 
found in Lingg' s rooms, and chemistry books 
containing a new formula for a high explosive 
written in his own hand. Gradually it seemed 
even the purblind public and the newspapers 
were beginning to recognize that Lingg was 



260 



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really the storm-centre. Here is a comparatively 
fair description of him; it is from the pen of 
an American eye-witness who had studied 
him. I reproduce it in order to let my readers 
see how Lingg struck the best sort of reporter. 
"The strange figure in the group, the 
strangest man I have ever known, and the 
least human, is Louis Lingg. He is a kind 
of modern berserker, utterly reckless of con- 
sequences to himself, driving on in a sus- 
tained fury of vengeance upon the whole 
social order. Little of his abnormal physi- 
cal strength is apparent when he is in repose. 
He is slightly under average height,* very 
compactly built, with tawny hair, a strong face 
and the most extraordinary eyes I have ever 
seen in a human head, steel-grey, exceedingly 
keen, and bearing in their depths a kind of 
cold and hateful nre. His hands are small 
and delicate; his head large and very well 
shaped; his face indicates breeding and cul- 
ture. It is when he walks, as I often see him 
striding to and fro in the jail corridor, that he 
seems most formidable; for then his lithe, 
gliding, and peculiarly silent step, and the 

*It is curious to notice here how even careful observers are often 
utterly mistaken on important points The writer of the above 
sketch declares that Lingg was "slightly under average height"; 
the truth is that Lingg was rather above the "average height," 
being nearly five feet eight in his stocking feet. Schaack, the 
police captain, stated afterwards in print that Lingg was "tall." 
— Note of Editor. 



261 



The Bomb 



play of muscles about his shoulders, suggests 
something cat-like, or abnormal, an impression 
heightened by the leonine wave of hair he 
wore when he was arrested, though when 1 
saw him he was closely cropped and clean- 
shaven. After all, for a small man, he is 
the most terrific figure I have ever met. To 
any question or remark he is wont to respond 
with a disconcerting stare, and I think few 
people observe him without a feeling of re- 
lief that he is on the other side of the steel 
bars. . . ." 



262 



Chapter XI 



THE trial in Chicago was a startling, a 
horrible revelation, even to me, of 
man's innate brutality. It seems only natural 
to expect human beings to be at their best in 
a trial where life and death hang in the balance. 
It shocks the onlooker to discover that the 
great issue does not affect in any way the 
character or even the conduct of ordinary 
people. 

All through that year the capitalist papers 
in Chicago had been shamelessly one-sided. 
Day after day their columns had been filled 
with furious encouragement of the police; 
again and again they had called upon Bonfield 
and his helpers to "use lead" against us; but 
I had hoped that now this would all cease, 
that the hireling partisans of the established 
order would hold their hands, at least for a 
time. They could feel pretty confident that 
the judges whom they had appointed and 
the machinery of the law which they had 
instituted would act as they had designed 
them to act. At the worst, I thought, there 
will be a show of fairness, and I comforted 
myself with the reflection that if there was 



263 



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any fair-play at all, it would be impossible 
to convict seven out of the eight accused per- 
sons; for those seven had had nothing on earth 
to do with the throwing of the bomb, and, in 
fact, knew nothing whatever about it. Poor 
fool that I was! I still imagined that innocence 
insured acquittal in a court of justice. 

But already when I thought of the trial I 
began to grow indignant, for strong as their 
case was I began to fear, and this was the 
heart of my fear. The police had already 
asserted that they had found bombs in Lingg's 
rooms. I knew Lingg well enough to know 
that that was almost certainly untrue; he 
would never have implicated Ida in his 
crime. From the description of the place, 
too, where he had been captured, I knew that 
he had been trapped in his little carpenter's 
workshop, and bombs would have been dis- 
covered there if anywhere. Besides, the police 
description of the bombs found in Lingg's 
rooms was altogether wrong; they had not 
the same shape as Lingg's bombs, and, above 
all, the explosive used was declared to be 
dynamite, which Lingg never used. For 
these reasons I felt certain that the bombs 
were of police imagining, or police manu- 
facture. And if the police could manufacture 
lying evidence against Lingg, what was to 
hinder them manufacturing lies about the 



264 



The Bomb 



others ? I began to fear for the result and, as 
it turned out, with good reason. 

The next batch of Chicago papers showed 
me that the police had discovered bombs in 
Parsons's desk, and rifles by the dozen in 
Spies's house, and a little later bombs in 
Engel's shop. I had no need to read further; 
even the Chicago police had surpassed them- 
selves, and reached the limit when they at- 
tributed bomb-making to kind old Engel. 
The papers treated all these so-called dis- 
coveries quite seriously; published pictures 
of the bombs; pictures of the fulminating 
caps, anything and everything to prejudice 
the case, to excite horror and detestation of 
the accused. Evidently the established order, 
the robbers in possession, were determined 
at all costs to strike down their enemies. 
Why should I hesitate to call them robbers? 
When writing of the Paris Commune, did 
not Ruskin say that "the capitalists are the 
guilty thieves of Europe . . ." ? Did he not 
attack, as it should be attacked, that "occult 
theft; theft which hides itself, even from it- 
self, and is legal, respectable, and cowardly, 
which corrupts the body and soul of men, 
to the last fibre of them" ? And if you dis- 
pute the authority of Ruskin, will you be 
convinced by Carlyle, or by Balzac, or by 
Goethe, or by Ibsen, or by Heine, or by Ana- 



265 



The Bomb 



tole France, or by Tolstoi, by any or all the 
leaders of modern thought? On this subject 
they are all agreed. And agreeing with them, 
I mean to show how this conspiracy of legal- 
ized thieves in Chicago defended themselves, 
and at length rid themselves of their oppo- 
nents. I beg my readers to believe that I 
expose this shameless vengeance of theirs 
not in anger, but simply as a warning and a 
lesson to the class I represent. It is well 
for working-men to know how the middle 
classes prostitute justice in the most demo- 
cratic country in Christendom. 

The trial was a cruel farce; from beginning 
to end a mockery of justice. For weeks be- 
fore it began the papers, as I have said, had 
been poisoning the minds of the people in 
Chicago with every imaginable police lie and 
slander — any stick seemed to the journalists 
good enough for the anarchist dog. At the 
time the trial commenced some thousands of 
men were still in prison in Chicago on sus- 
picion; held there in defiance of law, as a 
ready means of terrorizing any witnesses that 
might be called for the defence. 

Day after day the court-room was packed 
with friends of the established order; well- 
dressed citizens who showed their feelings, 
now by cheers, and now by groans, in most 
unmistakable fashion. The proletariat, who 



266 



The Bomb 



outnumbered the wealthy ten to one, were 
not allowed to have any of their representa- 
tives in court; some who came there were 
arrested and dragged off to prison without 
any pretence of legality, in order to encourage 
the rest. What a disgraceful, pitiable farce 
it all was! 

First of all, the trial was held too soon after 
the offence to be in any way fair to the accused, 
much less impartial. It began on the twenty- 
first of June, within six weeks of the bomb- 
throwing. Then, too, it was held on the very 
scene of the crime where men were still too 
frightened to think of justice, and though a 
change of venue was asked for, it was peremp- 
torily refused. But not only was the court- 
room packed; the jury was packed also. 
Out of the thousand odd talesmen on the list, 
only ten came from the fourteenth ward, the 
working-class quarter, yet this ward alone 
had a population of 130,000, whereas the 
whole population of Chicago was only five 
hundred thousand. And to make security 
doubly sure, the ten talesmen who were taken 
from the fourteenth ward were all carefully 
selected by the police; they all lived, indeed, 
within a few yards of the police station. It 
was quite in vain that Captain Black, the 
counsel for the defence, used his right of chal- 
lenge on such men; he challenged all of them 



26' 



The Bomb 



he was allowed to challenge, a hundred and 
sixty for the eight defendants; but all the 
talesmen were of the same class, so that he 
was powerless. A single instance will es- 
tablish this. He challenged one juror, and 
appealed to the judge against him; for when 
questioned this juror admitted that he had 
made up his mind from the first that the ac- 
cused were guilty — even before he had come 
into court. The judge, in order to flaunt his 
prejudice, or rather in order to discover his 
complete sympathy with the capitalist class, 
allowed this juror to serve. 

Pontius Pilate was an infinitely fairer judge 
than Judge Gary; Pilate had some misgivings; 
now and then tried to show fairness; but 
Gary was proof against any such sympathy. 
From the beginning to the end of the trial 
he always supported the State Attorney Grin- 
nell, and opposed the prisoners' counsel. 
Take one instance: he allowed a work of 
Most, the half-mad anarchist, to be put in 
evidence against the prisoners, though there 
was no evidence whatever, no particle of 
presumption even, that any of the prisoners 
had ever seen the book, and though it was 
written in a language which neither Fielden 
nor Parsons could understand. With a hos- 
tile public filling the court, with hostile papers 
whipping prejudice to madness, with a packed 



268 



The Bomb 



jury of bitter opponents, with a judge who 
over-rode the most ordinary forms of law in 
order to prejudice the jury against the prisoners, 
there was not much chance of a decent ver- 
dict. In spite of all this, however, the case 
against the prisoners was so weak that it 
seemed again and again as if it must break to 
pieces of its own rottenness. 

The chief witnesses for the police were 
Captain John Bonfield and Messrs. Seliger, 
Jansen and Shea. They all contradicted 
themselves and contradicted each other on 
vital points. Bonfield war^ asked whether he 
had ever used the words, "If I could only get 
a thousand of those Socialists and Anarchists 
in a bunch ... I'd make short work of them/* 
He admitted that he had used them, and de- 
clared that he was justified. Seliger lived 
in the police station, and admitted that he 
had received large sums of money from the 
police. Jansen and Shea confessed that they 
had joined Socialist clubs and had made 
speeches to incite the members against the 
police — confessed further that they had been 
paid for those services; and yet Judge Gary 
held that their evidence was admissible, and 
asserted that on the main points it had not 
been shaken in cross-examination. Yet these 
witnesses were on their own admission agents 
provocateurs. This travesty of justice drag- 



'2(H) 



The Bomb 



ged on for two months; but long before it 
came to an end I was sickened with the con- 
viction that the jury would find every one of 
the eight guilty, and yet there were moments 
when it seemed impossible for even that jury 
to commit such a crime. 

Captain Black did his work splendidly as 
advocate for the defence; he tore the whole 
indictment of the State Attorney to pieces. 
He showed that at first the eight men had 
been put on trial for murder, and for weeks 
the police had tried to prove that they were 
the makers and throwers of the bombs, or at 
least privy to the throwing (for the one bomb 
I threw had become three, according to the 
police testimony). This case, Captain Black 
pointed out, had absolutely broken down; 
there was not a tittle of credible evidence to 
connect any one of the prisoners with the 
throwing of a bomb. Then he showed how 
the State Attorney Grinnell, recognizing this, 
had begun to change his ground, and charge 
the accused as anarchists. "The whole pros- 
ecution now rests," he said, "on the attempt 
to prove that these men have incited to mur- 
der by their speeches and writings.' ' He 
went on to ridicule the idea that any connec- 
tion had been established between the strong 
language used by the defendants and the 
throwing of the bomb. He made his final 



270 



The Bomb 



appeal to the jury to treat the case as a politi- 
cal case, as a case in which the hot words of 
speakers on either side were not to be taken 
seriously; but the packed class jury were above 
argument, and beyond appeal. They brought 
in a verdict of " Guilty' ' against every one of 
the eight. 

The value of the verdict appears from one 
fact. Among the eight was one man, Oscar 
Neebe, against whom nothing had been proved, 
whose language had always been moderate, 
who was not even at the meeting in Des- 
plaines Street; but the jury, thinking it a pity 
to make an exception, brought in Neebe guilty 
with the rest. Then the prisoners were asked 
whether they had anything to say why sen- 
tence should not be passed upon them. 

One after the other got up, and made better 
speeches than I should have believed them 
able to make. Parsons, of course, used the 
occasion magnificently; according to all ac- 
counts surpassed himself. He began by draw- 
ing attention to the fact that this trial was 
simply an incident in the long conflict be- 
tween capitalism and labour. "It was well 
known," he declared, "that the representa- 
tives of the millionaire organization, known 
as the Chicago Citizens' Association, had 
spent money like water in order to buttress 
up the case against the accused at every weak 



271 



The Bomb 



spot. These millionaires had at their dis- 
posal the capitalist press — 'that vile and in- 
famous organization of hired liars.' . . . The 
trial was instituted by the capitalist mob, 
prosecuted by the mob, conducted amid the 
cheers and howls of the mob, and had resulted 
in a mob verdict. . . . 

"You are now asked," he went on, "to 
enter a verdict against us as anarchists. Why 
not consider first the writings of the capitalist 
press which came first in time, and which we 
only answered ? When the sailors in the 
docks were striking to obtain higher wages, 
what did 'The Chicago Times' say ? ' Hand- 
grenades should be thrown among them; by 
such treatment they would be taught a valua- 
ble lesson and other strikers would take a 
warning from their fate. . . .' W T hat did 
'The New York Herald' say? 'The brutal 
strikers can understand no other meaning 
than that of force, and ought to get enough to 
remember it for many generations.' What 
did 'The Indianapolis Journal' say? 'Give 
the strikers a rifle diet for a few days, and see 
how they like that kind of bread.' What 
did 'The Chicago Tribune' say? 'Give 
them strychnine.' 

"Are these editors and writers on trial for 
inciting to murder ? Yet murder came again 
and again as a result of their incitement. 1 



272 



The Bomb 



have quoted you 'The Chicago Tribune's' 
article; three days afterwards seven unarmed 
strikers were shot down by the police, mur- 
dered in cold blood. Was the editor or the 
writer of the article in 'The Chicago Tribune' 
arrested and charged with murder? There 
is evidently in America one justice for the 
rich, and another for the poor. We anar- 
chists are to be treated as murderers; every 
hot or unconsidered word we have used is to 
be brought up against us, yet there might be 
some mitigation of the hatred you feel towards 
us if you considered our position. Do you 
think it easy for us to see workmen starving 
who are willing to work ? to watch their wives 
and children getting thinner and weaker day 
by day? All this winter thirty thousand 
workmen have been out of work in Chicago, 
or, taking a family of three children to each 
head, nearly a third of the whole population of 
Chicago has been for months on the brink 
of starvation. When we see little children 
huddled round the factory gates, the poor 
little things whose bones are not yet hard, 
when we see them torn from the fireside, 
thrown into the bastiles of labour, and their 
frail little bodies turned into gold to swell the 
hoard of the millionaire or to bedeck the form 
of some aristocratic Jezebel, it is time to 
speak out. 



The Bomb 



"Judge Gary has declared that resistance 
to the execution of the law is a crime, and that 
if such resistance lead to death it is murder; 
well, Judge Gary is mistaken. Our Declara- 
tion of Independence is a higher authority 
than Judge Gary, and it asserts that resistance 
to tyranny, to unlawful authority, is right; and 
what could be more unlawful than for police 
to use bludgeons and revolvers on unarmed 
men exercising the American right of free 
speech in an open meeting? The Judge 
Garys pass away and are forgotten; but the 
Declaration of Independence will remain as 
a monument of human wisdom. . . . 

"The prosecuting attorney has tried to 
excite prejudice against me personally by 
calling me 'a paid agitator.' Well, I am paid, 
and I have been paid. I receive the wages 
fixed by myself, eight dollars a week, for 
editing 'The Alarm,' and all my other work. 
Eight dollars a week, that is what my wife 
and I live on — 'a paid agitator'; it is for 
the world to judge whether the sneer is de- 
served .... 

"Do not think, gentlemen of the prosecu- 
tion, that you will have settled this case when 
they have carried my lifeless body to the 
potter's field. Do not imagine that this trial 
will be ended by strangling me and my col- 
leagues! I tell you there will be another 



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trial, and another jury, and a more righteous 
verdict." 

I have only given a few extracts from Par- 
sons's speech, taking a bit from this newspaper 
and a bit from that; for though he spoke for 
two days, the whole of the reports I could get 
would have gone into a column. The same 
papers, "The Chicago Tribune, " and "The 
Chicago Times," which gave the police evi- 
dence verbatim, minus the contradictions, 
and reported the speech for the prosecution 
at full length, scarcely deigned to give one 
word in a hundred of Parsons's speech; yet 
even these prejudiced papers admitted that 
his speech was a great one, and had a great 
effect. 

But to my mind, knowing the man, and 
reading at a distance, the speech of Engel 
was just as effective, and even more touching 
in its transparent honesty. He did not carry 
the war into the enemies' camp as Parsons 
did; he simply showed what the poor had 
suffered, and confessed that his sympathies 
were naturally with all those who laboured 
and starved, and who were treated always 
with harshness and contempt. Everything 
Engel said reached one's best sympathies. 
But the sensation of the trial was the speech 
of Louis Lingg, though it was very short. 

"It is a pleasant irony," he began, "to call 



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this a fair trial in open court, with a packed 
jury, a prejudiced judge, and crowds of hired 
police witnesses; but the irony becomes sharp 
when we are asked, after being brought in 
* Guilty,' whether we have anything to say 
why we should not be hanged, it being per- 
fectly well understood that if we spoke with 
the tongues of angels we should still be hanged. 

"I had intended," he went on, "to defend 
myself; but the trial has been so unfair, the 
conduct of it so disgraceful, the intent and 
purpose of it so clearly avowed, that I will 
not waste words. Your capitalist masters 
want blood; w r hy keep them waiting? 

"The rest of the accused have told you that 
they do not believe in force. I may tell you 
that they have no business in this dock with 
me. They are innocent, every one of them; 
I do not pretend to be. I believe in force 
just as you do. That is my justification. 
Force is the supreme arbiter in human 
affairs. You have clubbed unarmed strikers, 
shot them down in your streets, shot down 
their women and their children. So long as 
you do that, we who are Anarchists will use 
explosives against you. 

"Don't comfort yourselves with the idea 
that we have lived and died in vain. The 
Haymarket bomb has stopped the bludgeon- 
ings and shootings of your police for at least 



27f> 



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a generation. And that bomb is only the 
first, not the last . . . 

"Now I have done. I despise you. I 
despise your society and its methods, your 
courts and your laws, your force-propped 
authority. Hang me for it!" 

According to all accounts this speech of 
Lingg had a tremendous effect; the coolness 
of it, the detached impartiality of the begin- 
ning, the bold avowal of his belief in force, the 
noble declaration that he alone was guilty, 
the daring of the whole thing, affected every- 
body. Above all the threat that the Hay- 
market bomb was not the last. But, of course, 
the speech had no influence on the judge. 

Judge Gary, in giving sentence, began by 
saying that he was sorry for the unhappy 
condition ... of the accused; "but the law 
holds that whoever advises murder is himself 
guilty of the murder that is committed pur- 
suant to his advice. . . ." He went on to say 
that "the defendant Neebe should be im- 
prisoned in the State Penitentiary at Joliet at 
hard labour for the term of fifteen years, and 
that each of the other defendants, between 
the hours of ten o'clock in the forenoon and 
two o'clock in the afternoon of the third 
of December next, in the manner provided 
by the statute of this State, be hung by the 
neck until he is dead. Remove the prisoners." 



The Bomb 



The whole spirit and meaning of the trial 
can be understood by any impartial person 
from an article which appeared in "The Chi- 
cago Tribune,' ' welcoming the verdict and 
the sentences with indecent and shameless 
delight. The article was headed "Chicago 
Hangs iVnarchists," and the writer proposed 
that a hundred thousand dollars should im- 
mediately be subscribed for the jury who had 
so nobly done their duty. 

I cannot describe the alternations of hope 
and fear which I experienced in the two 
months the trial lasted. For sixty days I 
was on the rack. I speak figuratively, be- 
cause this English language is figurative; it 
has all been made by poets and romance 
writers, by people with imagination, and not 
by people with open eyes and clear judgment; 
but new experiences demand a new telling, 
and the language of plain fact is sufficiently 
impressive. Before the trial was half over I 
had got into a habit of sleeplessness which 
first came to me after I left Chicago. At the 
beginning I paid no attention to this insom- 
nia. When I was tired out, I thought I 
should sleep; but as the conviction grew in 
me that these men would all be sentenced — 
Parsons, who had given himself up, Spies, 
the lovable Fielden, dear old Engel, Lingg — 
the sleeplessness grew on me, and however 



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tired I was I could not sleep without chloral 
or an injection of morphia. Even when I 
went out of London to Richmond Park, and 
walked all day in that beautiful place, 
and returned tired out, I could not sleep ; or if 
I dozed away for a few minutes I began to 
dream hideous dreams, which woke me in 
spite of myself, shaking with fear. 

As my anxiety grew greater the hallucina- 
tions became more distressing. One that I 
remember most acutely used to take the form 
of an eye, which seemed to stare and stare at 
me till I awoke. The eye would often in my 
dream grow luminous, and in its light I would 
see again Crane's Alley, and the truck, and 
the speakers, and the little red light, as of a 
falling star, and then the pit in the street, 
and the red shambles, and I was awake, 
shivering in a cold sweat. 

In another of these dreams a point would 
appear and turn quickly into a beak and 
furnish itself with wings, and swoop down 
nearer and nearer till I realized that it was 
trying to tear out my eyes, and then it would 
come close and suddenly change into the 
dreadful street, and again I was awake, gasp- 
ing with terror. 

Even when I merely closed my eyes, all the 
colours of the kaleidoscope would paint them- 
selves in bars and rings upon my eyelids. 



The Bomb 



Sometimes I saw nothing but crimson, and 
then orange, and then bars of alternate crim- 
son and orange. How could one sleep with 
one's nerves playing such tricks ? 

The sleeplessness made the strain intoler- 
able; I lost appetite and lost strength. One 
day I went to a doctor, and he told me I was 
suffering from nervous breakdown, and if I 
did not take a rest the consequences would 
be serious. I asked him how I should rest. 
He shook his sapient head, told me not to 
think of anything unpleasant, to go out, and 
live in the open air, much as one might tell 
a hungry man to pay a thousand pounds into 
his balance at the bank. 

I reached breaking point just before the 
trial. I had been out reading the papers, 
and had forgotten to get anything to eat. 
When I returned to my lodging I ran up the 
stairs two at a time as was my custom. As 
I got into my room and closed the door every- 
thing swayed about, and I fell against the 
bed, and then slid down on the floor in a 
faint. When I came to I felt very weak and 
ill; but somehow or other I managed to crawl 
into bed, where I lay for an hour or so. As 
luck would have it, the servant came up to 
fill the water-jug, and I asked her to bring 
me some cocoa and bread and butter. The 
food revived me; but I was too weak to get 



280 



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up, and next day the weakness continued, 
and I was surprised to see how pale and 
drawn my face was, that used to be rather 
round and well covered. 

Days passed, and I got gradually stronger; 
but my nerves were all ashake for months. 
I used to sit in the chair by the window for 
hours without moving, while the tears poured 
weakly from my eyes. 

Strange to say, when the verdict came and 
the anxiety was over, I began to recover a 
little. I at once made up my mind to go 
back to Chicago and give myself up, and this 
resolve having laid my cruel doubts, I began 
to sleep better. But a few days afterward I re- 
ceived another letter from Chicago, which turn- 
ed my resolution into an entirely new direction. 

It was this letter which brought me back 
to life and life's purpose again: "Jack seems 
very anxious about you," Ida wrote; "he 
hopes you will write the story of his illness 
and your exile. 'Tell him/ he says again 
and again, 'he was born a writer, and one 
good book is worth a thousand deeds. I 
rely on him to write and do nothing else. . . .'" 

Perhaps Lingg was right; at any rate, his 
advice held me, and I began at once to write 
the story as I have set it forth here, and the 
writing of it — the purpose and the labour — 
brought me slowly back to life. 



281 



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At first I wrote merely as a reporter, and 
found that after a hundred pages I was still 
writing about my own boyhood. I tore up 
all I had written and began again, determined 
to leave out everything which did not illus- 
trate the main theme, and this determination, 
in spite of my want of talent and painful 
inexperience, is pulling me through; but no one 
could be more painfully conscious than I am 
how unworthy the writing is of the subject. 
I am acutely aware, too, that this book is 
only interesting when I am dealing with great 
persons, with Lingg, and Ida, and Elsie, and 
Parsons, so I will return to them, and my 
story, for the greatest and most terrible things 
are still to tell. 

All this time I was not able to get the notion 
out of my head that Lingg would not go 
sheep-like to the scaffold. To the very last 
I had expected him to execute justice on his 
justicers, and end the trial in open court with 
a bomb. If he had not done this it was be- 
cause it w r as impossible. He had probably 
been kept under the strictest watch. But 
now I felt sure the watch would be relaxed, 
and Lingg's daring and resolution were so 
extraordinary that he would probably do 
something yet to strike terror into his oppo- 
nents. 

Meanwhile hope that the sentence might be 



282 



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mitigated was not abandoned. An application 
for a new trial was made to Judge Gary and 
was refused; but that was only what might 
have been expected. 

About this time my heart was buoyed up 
by the fact that a change in popular feeling 
seemed to be taking place in Chicago. In 
the late summer the people began to prepare 
for the elections, and to the astonishment of 
the capitalists, the Labour Party went from 
triumph to triumph. No doubt, as a con- 
sequence of these successes, the judicial as- 
pect of the case altered for the better. On 
Thanksgiving Day, the twenty-fifth of Novem- 
ber, Captain Black got a supersedeas or stay 
of execution of the vile sentence. This su- 
persedeas allowed an appeal to the Supreme 
Court, which Captain Black began at once 
to prepare. 

The fogs of November and December 
drove me from London, in spite of the fact 
that the prospects of my friends were 
brighter; in spite, too, of the fact that I was 
beginning to make some little progress with 
my book. Work in the gloom and grime 
and dirt had become almost impossible to 
me. I was terribly depressed; my nerves 
seemed to give way utterly in the semi-dark- 
ness and filth. So I seized the first oppor- 
tunity and took steamer for Bordeaux. The 



283 



The Bomb 



passage cost very little, a couple of pounds 
for the four days. We had a very stormy 
passage; but that was to be expected in the 
Bay of Biscay, and long before we got to 
Bordeaux the air was clear and light, and the 
wind had blown away all the depressing fogs, 
I found a room in a little lane on the vine- 
clad outskirts of the town, and lived there 
cheaply for the winter. I managed almost to 
cover my expenses by what I wrote for " Rey- 
nolds'/ ' so that everything I did on the book 
seemed to me clear gain. The worst of my 
sojourn in Bordeaux was that I was almost 
completely cut off from the American world. 
The papers held no foreign news worth talk- 
ing about; the French, indeed, seem to be- 
lieve that the smallest thing which happens 
in France is more important than the greatest 
thing which happens in any other country. 
There is an insularity of mind about them 
which is astonishing. They have lived so 
long with the idea that they are the first nation 
in the world, and their language the most 
important language, that they have not yet 
awakened to the fact that they are only a 
second-rate nation, and English and Russian, 
and even German, are incomparably more 
important tongues than French. They are 
like men in a class of growing youths; 
they imagine themselves stronger and wiser, 



284 



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whereas they are only older and more 
vicious. 

Early in March I made my way to Paris, 
and from Paris in a few days I went on to 
Cologne; there I got in touch with the world 
again, and learnt that on the thirteenth of 
March Captain Black's appeal had been 
laid before the Supreme Court. Judgment, 
however, was not expected for some time. 

I found a socialist club in Cologne, and, 
indeed, in every German town which I visited. 
I was afraid to go freely to the meetings; but 
from time to time I attended some of the 
lectures and found that in Germany, at least, 
the new creed was every day making new 
converts. 

In the course of that summer I wrote a 
good deal for the advanced German papers, 
esepcially for the socialist sheets; but I found 
that Lingg's idea that a perfect modern State 
should embrace both socialism and indivi- 
dualism was not acceptable to socialists. 
They insisted that co-operation would have 
to take the place of competition altogether 
as the motive-power in life, which I could 
not at all bring myself to believe. Again and 
again I pointed out that all the evils of our 
society arose from the fact that the individual 
had combined with others and so increased 
his own strength, and was thus enabled to 



285 



The Bomb 



gain control of great departments of industry 
which he had no business to control, and 
thereby annex profits which should have gone 
into the coffers of the State. The world 
seemed to me gone mad. Seven out of ten 
people one met believed in unrestrained in- 
dividualism, and declared that the gigantic 
evils of it were only accidental and unimpor- 
tant, whereas the other three were certain 
that competition spelt nothing but waste and 
fraud and shameless greed, and declared that 
with co-operation the millennium would come 
upon earth. I stood between these two par- 
ties, and for my moderation was regarded 
as an enemy by both. The individualists 
would not have me because I could not accept 
their extravagant lies; the socialists would 
not have me because I could not go the whole 
way with them. Again and again I was 
forced to see the truth of Lingg's saying that 
the modern State was not complex enough: 
there should be many more Government 
appointments at small salaries for people with 
extraordinary peculiarities or gifts which en- 
abled them to see and do things that other 
men did not see and could not do. Progress 
in society comes usually from what scientists 
call "sports," men or women of some extra- 
ordinary gift, and the "sports" in a democ- 
racy, I noticed, have little chance of survival. 



286 



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The vast body of brutal public opinion, as I 
had found in America, overwhelms them, 
hates them, or at least is impatient of their 
superiority, and indeed of their mere exist- 
ence, and so the feet of progress are clogged. 



28^ 



Chapter XII 



AS the months went on I began to look 
for a good issue, but towards the end of 
the summer my hopes were suddenly blasted. 
On the twentieth of September the Supreme 
Court gave its judgment, affirming the judg- 
ment of Judge Gary's Court with one voice. 
When I was able to read the "opinion" of 
the Supreme Court in the American papers 
I gasped with astonishment; it was simply 
manufactured. Statements were assumed as 
indisputably true which were absolutely false, 
which were never even mentioned in evi- 
dence in the lower Court. The higher one 
went, the worse one fared; I ought to have 
divined it. The better the judges were paid, 
the higher their position, the more certain 
they were to be on the side of the established 
order; on every single point the Supreme 
Court judges warped the law to suit their 
prejudices. 

As was to be expected, the Labour Party 
did not accept this infamous verdict as de- 
cisive. The "opinion" created intense ex- 
citement among the labour leaders, and the 
labour organizations in Chicago prepared 



288 



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to agitate boldly. The capitalists, however, 
were ready for the fight. A labour meeting 
of protest was called and well attended, but 
was boycotted by the capitalist press. That 
was not enough; stronger measures, therefore, 
were at once adopted. Mrs. Parsons was 
going about exciting sympathy by distribut- 
ing copies of that part of her husband's speech 
at the first trial which contained an appeal 
to the American people, based on the Dec- 
laration of Independence. She was arrested 
and thrown into prison, and immediately on 
top of this, all meetings in favour of the con- 
demned men were forbidden in Chicago. 
Evidently the capitalists were not only strain- 
ing but degrading the law in order to take 
vengeance upon their enemies. Then I 
learned tardily that Captain Black had gone 
to New York to take counsel with General 
Pryor, the ablest counsel in America, on the 
best method of appeal to the Supreme Court 
of the United States. He could not, how- 
ever, get evidence to lay before the Supreme 
Court; the use of the "record" of the Court 
below was refused to him, for the first time 
in American history. When I read this I 
knew that matters were desperate, and that 
whatever I could do must be done quickly. 
At once I went back to London and began 
to stir up the Radical clubs. Every one of 



289 



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them heard me with sympathy and acted on 
my advice. I found, too, some notable En- 
glish men and women working in the same 
cause, particularly Doctor Aveling, and Elea- 
nor Marx Aveling. Mr. Hyndman, also, was 
indefatigable, both speaking and writing in 
favour at least of a fair trial, and William 
Morris imperilled his reputation in America 
quite cheerfully by writing an impassioned 
appeal on behalf of the condemned men. 
Two or three Americans, too, distinguished 
themselves in the same way, especially Wil- 
liam D. Howells and Colonel Ingersoll, the 
famous lecturer, who showed his accustomed 
courage by writing against what he dared to 
call "a judicial murder." 

The Supreme Court had fixed the eleventh 
of November for the execution, and I began 
to fear for the first time that these men would 
indeed be executed on that day, for the ex- 
tremity of need only discovered the weakness 
and want of organization of the proletariat, 
the overwhelming strength of the capitalist 
established order. In London the protests 
of the Radical clubs were scarcely noticed by 
the middle-class papers. Every one of the 
great sheets, like "The Times" and "The 
Telegraph," simply announced the date of 
the execution and the finding of the Supreme 
Court as ordinary facts which must have been 



290 



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expected. Justice was to be done, they all 
said, and the sooner the deed was accom- 
plished the better; and that was the spirit in 
America, too, only there it was intensified by 
a certain amount of fear and rage. "At last 
we are coming to the end," said "The Chicago 
Tribune," "and we shall soon be quit of 
monsters who are better out of life." 

That seven out of the eight men were en- 
tirely innocent seemed to concern no one, and 
interest no one in particular. If one spoke 
about it in a public-house or in the street, one 
met simply cold looks, unwilling attention, 
shrugging shoulders. I was forced to the 
conclusion that the number of people in this 
world who care for justice or right, apart from 
their own interests, is very small. Now, as in 
the old days, there were not five righteous to 
be found in a city. Anger and rage seemed to 
give me back some of my strength. Again 
I wrote to Ida, saying that I was eager to 
return to Chicago. I pleaded with her as I 
knew she would plead with Lingg, and again 
our letters crossed; for in the last days of 
October I received a letter from her in which 
Jack thanked me for having kept my promise 
and bade me watch the end carefully, for "a 
good witness would be needed." I could hear 
him say the words, and at once I set myself 
to get every particle of information I could 



291 



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about the condemned men and their treat 
ment. What I learned, and what came of 
it, and the terrible end, I must now tell as 
best I can. 

The so-called anarchists had been con- 
fined for the fifteen months in what was called 
"Murderers' Row" in the Cook County Jail. 
Their cells were small, square rooms, with one 
heavily barred window, high up, and a heavy 
door. Outside the ordinary door there was 
another door made up of bars of iron, which 
was used in summer for purposes of ventilation. 

The head jailer's name was Folz, a veteran 
in the service, who was careful, watchful, yet 
considerate. From time to time the prisoners 
were permitted to talk with their friends; but 
then only in the so-called "Lawyers' Cage," 
a cell ten feet by sixteen, the door of which 
was not only made of iron bars; but was 
covered, too, with a close network of wire. 
Outside this stood the person talking to the 
prisoner; inside, the prisoner with his death- 
watch in close attendance. As soon as the 
Supreme Court had given its judgment and 
fixed the date of execution, the harshness of 
the prisoners' treatment was sensibly mitigated. 
The wives of the condemned men were per- 
mitted to visit them nearly every day, and Miss 
Miller was allowed to see Lingg as freely as 
if she had been his wife. 



292 



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In the early days of November Captain 
Black strained every nerve to get some at 
least of the prisoners pardoned; he was con- 
vinced of their innocence, and laboured as 
only an able and kindly man could labour on 
their behalf. At length he got Schwab and 
Fielden and Spies to sign a petition for par- 
don. The petition was based on several 
reasons: the first was that they were innocent of 
the bomb-throwing; the second was like unto 
it, that they had no knowledge whatever of 
the bomb-throwing; and the third was founded 
on the fact that at the Haymarket meeting 
they had advised peaceable measures. This 
petition was forwarded to the Governor, and 
every one hoped that Governor Oglesby 
would do something to mitigate the terrible 
sentence. 

Every effort was then concentrated on the 
attempt to get Parsons, Engel, and Fischer 
to petition at least for their lives. Mrs. Fis- 
cher and Mrs. Engel did what they could, 
while Mrs. Parsons would not consent to try 
to influence her husband in any way. Par- 
sons absolutely refused to sign any petition 
that did not contain a demand for uncondi- 
tional pardon and absolute liberty. At length 
the three signed this petition, and Captain 
Black brought it and laid it before Lingg, 
who first of all pointed out that it was quite 



293 



The Bomb 



useless, and then declared that even if it were 
thinkable that such a pardon would be granted, 
he would not ask for it. It was only when 
Mrs. Engel came and implored him to do it 
for her husband's sake that Lingg at last 
yielded, and that petition, too, went to the 
Governor. The Governor's answer was re- 
served till the tenth of November; but it 
leaked out that he would remit the death 
sentence on Schwab and Fielden at least. 
It was not to be expected that he would take 
into account the petition for an unconditional 
pardon which had been addressed to him by 
the other four men. 

While these things were going on an event 
occurred which once more lashed the passions 
of men to fever heat. In spite of a good deal 
of laxity in the management of the prison, 
Jailer Folz had the cells searched from time 
to time. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he 
had the cells searched on the Sunday morning, 
the sixth of November, the first day of the 
fatal week. Nothing was found in any of 
the cells except Lingg's, and in Lingg's cell 
three bombs were found, it was said, by an 
accident. 

The accident was peculiar enough to carry 
conviction with it. Lingg, it seems, had 
asked again and again for oranges all through 
the summer, and Miss Miller brought him 



294 



The !>><> mb 



oranges, which he kept in a little wooden 
box by his bedside. When the cell was opened 
to be searched he was asked to step into the 
" Lawyers Cage." He got up at once, and 
asked quietly — 

"May I take my oranges with me?" 
"No," replied the jailers; "please leave 
everything; you don't need to eat oranges 
for two minutes." 

Lingg had already taken the little wooden 
box in his hand ; as they refused him he tossed 
it carelessly on the bed and went out into 
the "Lawyer's Cage." The policemen paid 
no attention at first to the little box; they 
searched the whole cell till they came to the 
bed; then Deputy-Sheriff Hogan took up the 
box, opened it, and shoved it along outside 
the door into the corridor. As luck would 
have it the box went too far, went through 
the railings of the corridor and fell on the 
floor beneath; there it burst, and the oranges 
rolled all over the place. Hogan, seeing the 
result of his push, went to the railings of the 
corridor and looked over, and noticing that 
all the prisoners were concerned with these 
oranges, called to them to bring them up; but 
just as he was turning away, he saw one of 
the prisoners had stripped the yellow skin 
from an orange and discovered a layer of 
cotton-wool underneath. At once he sprang 



295 



The Bomb 



down the stairs and seized the box. On 
closer examination, according to the police 
report, three bombs were found among the 
oranges, concealed in orange skins. 

After this discovery Lingg was removed to 
a separate cell, number eleven, altogether 
apart from the others, and watched night 
and day by his death-watch. Had he meant 
to blow the jail up, or to use bombs on the 
very place of execution ? I could not divine. 

The discovery in Lingg's cell set all Ameri- 
ca in a quiver of rage and fear. Chicago was 
given over to panic; the governor of the pri- 
son was attacked in the press; the conduct of 
the jailers blamed, and the sheriffs condemned 
on all sides. Too much licence had been 
allowed. These anarchists were fanatics — 
murderers and madmen — and must be watched 
like wild beasts, and killed like wild beasts. 
The press was unanimous. Fear dictated 
the words that rage penned; but what manner 
of men these anarchists were was soon to 
appear, beyond all doubt, from their deeds. 
They were not to be painted by the lies and 
slanders of terrified enemies, but by their 
own acts in the light of day to all men's won- 
der. 



Chapter XIII 



OF the seven accused men only one was 
an American, Albert Parsons, and it 
seemed as if the higher the tide of execration 
rose against the other anarchists, as foreigners 
and murderers, the more the American mob 
desired to make an exception in favour of 
Parsons. It is the tendency of masses of men 
to praise and blame at haphazard and extra- 
vagantly. Their heroes are demi-gods, their 
enemies fiends. As I have shown, public 
opinion had turned Louis Lingg into a devil, 
a monster, a wild beast, and this same public 
opinion now tried to turn Parsons into an 
angel of light. It must be confessed that he 
touched the sympathies of Americans on 
many sides. He was not only a native-born 
American, but a Southerner who had fought 
as a boy for the Confederate States, and who 
after the war had approved the conditions 
imposed by the North. In '79 he was nomi- 
nated as the Labour Candidate for the Presi- 
dency of the United States, and declined the 
honour. 

This man's past proved beyond doubt that 
he was absolutely disinterested; a fanatic, if 



29' 



The Bomb 



you will, but a man of highest principle; a 
good man, that is, and not a bad one. It was 
impossible even for malice to condemn Par- 
sons as a murderer, as Lingg, Spies, Engel, 
Fischer, and the others were condemned. 
Besides, he had not been caught by the police; 
with singular magnanimity he had given 
himself up, and of his own impulse faced the 
danger. The sincerity of his motives, his 
noble character, the eloquence of his defence, 
had made a deep impression on the people. 
Governor Oglesby, who was already minded 
to reduce the sentences of Fielden and Schwab 
to imprisonment for life, could not overlook 
the claims of Parsons. Every one wanted 
to condemn the foreign anarchists as a body, 
and not to excite further sympathy with them 
by forcing Parsons to share their fate. Ac- 
cordingly, on the Wednesday morning, the 
ninth of November, Captain Black was in- 
formed that if Parsons would sign a petition 
for mercy without any further words, the 
Governor would grant it in view of his past 
life. 

Captain Black, who was of high character 
and greatly esteemed by the people of Chica- 
go, hurried at once to the prison, and used 
every argument that he could think of to in- 
duce Parsons to sign a colourless petition, 
merely asking for mercy. To his eternal 



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honour Parsons absolutely refused to sign 
any such document. 

"I am innocent, Captain Black" he ex- 
claimed, "and therefore I am entitled not to 
pity and a commutation of my sentence; but 
to freedom, and such honour as I may deserve"; 
and when pressed by Black, who told him that 
this was his last chance, he pointed out that 
he could not take it, even if he wanted to. 

"It would seal the fate of my comrades," 
he said, "and would be on my part a betrayal, 
or at least an act of desertion. I would rather 
be hung a thousand times." 

In spite of everything Captain Black could 
do, in spite even of the entreaties of his wife, 
Parsons held to his decision. The next 
morning the Governor gave his answer to 
the petitions. He commuted to imprison- 
ment for life the sentences of Schwab and 
Fielden, leaving Spies, Fischer, Engel, Par- 
sons, and Lingg to their fate. The execu- 
tion was fixed for the following morning. 

No one was satisfied. Nine out of ten Ameri- 
cans cared nothing for Fielden or Schwab; 
but that Parsons should be hung, Parsons 
who out of loyalty to his comrades had 
refused to accept a free pardon, seemed mon- 
strous and horrible, even to the most heated 
partisans — an infamous sentence. At the 
same time they comforted their vanity with 



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the reflection that "the only fine man of the 
crew was a native-born American." They 
were soon to be undeceived, soon to be taught 
that among the despised foreigners was one 
man, in character and courage, head and 
shoulders above his fellows. 

All the while, since the discovery on the 
Sunday morning of the bombs, Lingg had 
been kept by himself in cell 11, and had been 
denied to every one. The jail clerk, Mr. B. 
Price, took turn in looking after him, with 
his death-watch, Deputy-Sheriff Osborne. 
Captain Osborne seems to have been very 
kind to Lingg, who naturally responded to 
sympathy as a watch to its main-spring. 

Early on the morning of the tenth, Os- 
borne communicated to him the decision of 
the Governor, and told him, too, how in spite 
of every temptation Parsons had refused to 
ask for mercy or place himself in an excep- 
tional position. When Lingg heard it he cried — 

"That's great, great! Well done, Parsons, 
well done!" 

Shortly afterwards Lingg took a ring from 
his finger, handed it to Mr. Osborne, and 
desired him to keep it as a memento of his 
kindness to him. 

"Take it to the window," he said, "and 
look at it. It is not worth much, but perhaps 
on that account you will prize it the more." 



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Captain Osborne took it to the window, 
not to look at it, as he afterwards said, but 
to hide his own emotion; and while he was at 
the window he was shaken and thrown against 
the wall by a terrific explosion. Before he 
could even see, or know what had happened, 
the door was torn open. The jailer and his 
assistant rushed in. Already the fumes of 
the explosion were passing away, and Lingg 
was seen lying on his face on the bed in the 
corner of his cell, in a pool of blood. 

What followed I take from the account 
which appeared in "The New York Tribune" 
of the eleventh of November, a paper which 
certainly showed Lingg no sympathy; but 
great deeds and great men can be seen even 
through the foul mists engendered by hatred 
and ignorance, and the reports of one's ene- 
mies are not to be suspected of flattery. 

"Streams of blood deluged the bedding 
and the floor. Pieces of flesh and bone were 
scattered in every direction. The gloom of 
the cell, the sickening vapours of the explosion, 
were enough to appal the stoutest heart. 

"'For God's sake, man, what have you 
done?' exclaimed Turnkey O'Neil. 

"There was no response, not even a sign 
of breathing. A light was quickly brought. 
Jailer Folz felt the pulse of the criminal. 



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Had he succeeded in cheating the gallows? 
There was no time to answer the question. 
Aided by the deputies the jailer carried the 
body to the door of the cell, out into the cage, 
and into the office. A bloodstained trail 
marked the way. It was an awful sight. 
The features of the criminal were bathed in 
blood. The entire lower jaw was gone, and 
part of the upper. Ragged strips of flesh 
hung down below the eyes. His chest seemed 
to be stripped of flesh to the very bones. 
The eyes were closed, and the right hand 
convulsively clutched the jailer's coat. But 
not a groan escaped him. . . . 

"Doctors were sent for in every direction. 
Dr. Gray, the assistant county physician, 
responded almost immediately. By his orders 
Lingg was taken to the bathroom, back of 
the jailer's office. Here he was laid upon 
two small tables hastily pushed together. A 
couple of pillows were placed under his head. 
In an instant they were dyed a deep crimson, 
and a dark pool of blood formed on the floor 
below. The physician, bending over him at 
work with a glistening knife and needles, cut 
away the shattered pieces of bone and shreds 
of bleeding flesh. It was the work of a few 
minutes only to tie the severed arteries. The 
doctor fills a small sponge with some liquid, 
and plunges it down the awful-looking cavity 



302 



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that leads to the throat. The dying man's 
big chest slowly begins to rise and fall. He 
was not dead yet. His heart and lungs still 
performed their functions. Up and down, 
up and down, heaved the chest, and at each 
motion torrents of blood poured from the 
torn palate into the throat. Unceasingly 
the doctor and his assistants, who had ar- 
rived in the meantime, continued to apply 
the sponge. At last the hand of the unfortu- 
nate man moved. It clutched the blanket 
thrown over his body. His whole frame 
trembled for a moment, and then he raised 
that terrible head and the face mangled out 
of all semblance of humanity. For a mo- 
ment he opened his eyes and coughed a 
hoarse, gurgling cough, and with it up came 
again a stream of blood. It was a horrifying 
sight. . . . 

"The Sheriff at last arrived. His face 
blanched as he glanced at the spectacle be- 
fore him, and then he turned away. Hot 
blankets were brought, and hot water applied 
to the feet of the fast sinking man. Present- 
ly the flow of blood was stopped, and the 
bandages round the lower part of the face 
gave the distorted features a more human 
appearance. Hypodermic injections of ether 
were given every few minutes. Their bare 
arms covered with blood, the physicians con- 



303 



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tinued their frightful task. At last they were 
rewarded for their labours. 

"The mangled body gave tokens of life; 
the signs of returning consciousness were 
unmistakable. 

"'Open your eyes,' said County Physician 
Mayer. Lingg slowly opened his eyes. 

'"Now shut them/ said the doctor. They 
closed mechanically almost. 

"In the midst of the operations upon him 
the anarchist raised his hand to the doctors. 
They paused. He essayed to speak. It was 
impossible. The tongue, torn at the roof, 
falls back into the throat. He makes a mo- 
tion as if desiring to write. Paper and pencil 
were laid at his side. Slowly, but with a 
firm hand, he traced the words — 

"'Besser anlehnen am Rucken. Wenn ich 
liege, kann ich nicht athmen.' 

"'Better support to my back. When I 
lie flat, I cannot breathe.' 

Was there ever such superhuman resolu- 
tion ? 

"He slowly turns upon his right side. His 
eyes become glassy. A pallor overspreads 
his features. It is evident that the end is 
near. 

"'Are you in pain?' asks the physician. 

"A nod of the head is the only answer; but 
not a groan, not a sign of suffering. . . . 



304 



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"At half-past two the County Physician 
went to the telephone in the jailer's office and 
sent the following message to the Sheriff — 

"'Lingg is sinking fast; he cannot last much 
longer.' 

"Already there began the stertorous breath- 
ing. The pallor deepened. The eyes re- 
sumed their glassy stare. A tremor passed 
through the body. There was a quick and 
sudden upheaval of the breast. For a minute 
or so the breathing continued, Then every- 
thing was quiet. The doctor looked once 
more upon the face, and then said — 

'"He is dead.' 

"Jailer Folz took his watch out and com- 
pared it with the timepiece on the wall. It 
was exactly nine minutes to three o'clock. 
The dead anarchist lay upon the table with 
his breast bared. The doctors left the room. 
There were only a turnkey and a reporter to 
close his eyes. The latter attempted to do 
it, but they would not close. He finally at- 
tempted to do it with some pennies which 
he had in his pocket, but they were not heavy 
enough. A policeman at that moment entered 
the room. It was with satisfaction almost that 
he looked upon the murderer of his comrades. 

"'Have you some nickels with you to close 
his eyes?' he was asked. He fumbled with 
his hand in his pocket; but presently drew it 



305 



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away. 'Not for that monster,' he declared 
resolutely. 

"Opinions differ as to the means employed 
by Lingg to end his miserable career. Theo- 
ries are plentiful; but evidence is scarce. 
Proof is wholly wanting. One thing can be 
accepted with safety; it was a high explosive 
did the work." 

This terrible occurrence threw the whole 
prison into disorder. The jailers ran about 
like maniacs; the prisoners screamed ques- 
tions; the prison was in an uproar. Parsons 
pushed to the bars of his cell and, when he 
heard what had happened, cried out," Give 
me one of those bombs; I want to do the same 
thing." 

The news of the explosion quickly spread 
beyond the prison walls, and a crowd collected 
demanding information — a crowd which was 
soon swollen by reporters from every paper 
in the city. The news got out in driblets, 
and was published in a dozen prints. The 
city seemed to go mad; from one end of the 
town to the other men began to arm them- 
selves, and the wildest tales were current. 
There were bombs everywhere. The ner- 
vous strain upon the public had become in- 
tolerable. The stories circulated and be- 
lieved that afternoon and night seem now, as 



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one observer said, to belong to the literature 
of Bedlam. The truth was, that the bombs 
found in Lingg's cell and his desperate self 
murder had frightened the good Chicagoans 
out of their wits. One report had it that 
there were twenty thousand armed and des- 
perate anarchists in Chicago who had planned 
an assault upon the jail for the following morn- 
ing. The newspaper offices, the banks, the 
Board of Trade building, the Town Hall, 
were guarded night and day. Every citizen 
carried weapons openly. One paper publish- 
ed the fact that at ten o'clock on that Thurs- 
day night a gun store was still open in Madi- 
son Street, and crowded with men buying 
revolvers. The spectacle did not strike any 
one as in the least strange, but natural, laud- 
able. The dread of some catastrophe was not 
only in the air, but in men's talk, in their faces. 
There has never been seen anything in any 
part of America like the spectacle Chicago 
presented on the morning of the eleventh of 
November. For a block in each direction 
from the jail, ropes were stretched across the 
street, and al! traffic suspended. Behind 
the ropes were lines of policemen, armed 
with rifles, all the way to the jail the side- 
walks were patrolled by other policemen 
armed to the teeth; the jail was guarded like 
an outpost in a battle. Lines of policemen 



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were drawn round it, and from every window 
armed policemen looked forth; the roof was 
black with them. 

At six o'clock in the morning reporters 
were admitted to the prison; after that, en- 
trance was denied to every one. From six 
till close upon eleven o'clock some two hun- 
dred reporters stood there, cooped up in the 
jailer's office, waiting. Wild stories were 
whispered from one white face to another, 
stories that tried the strongest nerves. Two 
of the reporters fainted under the strain and 
had to be taken outside. "In all my ex- 
perience," writes one of those present, "this 
was the only occasion on which I ever saw an 
American reporter break down under any 
punishment, however terrible, to be inflicted 
on somebody else." 

"It is hard," says the same eye-witness, 
"now to understand the power of the infec- 
tional panic that had seized upon the city 
and the jail; perhaps some idea of our feelings 
may be gained from the fact that while we 
waited there a Chicago newspaper issued an 
extra, seriously announcing that the jail had 
been mined, and at the moment of the hang- 
ing the whole structure and all in it were to 
be destroyed." 

Lingg's forecast of the result of the second 
bomb was more than realized. 



308 



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Some time afterwards this same honest 
reporter and eye-witness gave a description 
of the judicial murder which should be read 
here. 

"The word came at last; we marched down 
the dim corridors to the courtyard appointed 
for the terrible deed; we saw it done; we saw 
the four lives crushed out according to the 
fashion of .surviving barbarism. There was 
no mine exploded; there was no attack; the 
Central Union did not march its cohorts to 
the jail nor elsewhere; no armed or unarmed 
anarchists appeared to menace the supremacy 
of the State. In all men's eyes there was 
something of the strain and anxiety that made 
all the faces I saw about me look drawn and 
pallid; but there was nowhere the lifting of a 
lawless hand that day. It sounds now a 
horrible and cruel thing to say, yet visibly, 
most visibly, all men's hearts were lightened 
because those four men's hearts were stilled 
in death. 

"One other strange scene closed the drama, 
for who that saw it can ever forget that Sun- 
day funeral procession, the black hearses, the 
marching thousands, the miles upon miles 
of densely packed and silent streets; the 
sobering impression of the amnesty of death; 
the still more sobering question whether we 



309 



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had done right ? Lingg's self-immolation and 
the astounding courage with which he had 
borne his horrible sufferings had brought every 
one to pity and to doubt. The short Novem- 
ber day closed upon the services at the ceme- 
tery in the darkness the strangely silent 
crowds straggled back to the city. There 
was no outbreak at the graves or elsewhere; 
everywhere this silence, like a sign of brood- 
ing thought." 

And so the long tragedy came at length to its 
end. I can never tell what I felt on reading 
these reports. How I could see it all! How 
well I understood Lingg and the reason of 
his desperate act. What the four bombs were 
for I could not imagine at the time, though I 
was soon to learn; but surely he had used the 
bomb on himself in order to get the terroriz- 
ing effect he wanted without hurting any one 
but himself. Think, too, of his courage 
and iron self-control! How he found per- 
fect words to prevent Osborne from suspect- 
ing him, and how when called back to life 
and exquisite torture by the surgeon's skill, 
not a groan escaped him, not a cry. Tears 
poured from my eyes. Such power lost and 
wasted, such greatness come to so terrible 
an end! There was something dreadful to 
me in the idea that even the policeman could 



310 



The Bomb 



speak of Lingg, lying there dead, as a "mons- 
ter." All he had to do was to ask the death- 
watch, Osborne, and he might have got a 
fairer opinion of him, for Osborne after the 
catastrophe was not afraid to speak the truth. 
This is what he said of Lingg: "I have the 
highest opinion of Louis Lingg; I believe 
him to have been misunderstood; as honest 
in his opinions as it is possible for a man to 
be, and as free from feelings of revenge as a 
new-born babe. I only wish that every 
young man in America could be as strong 
and good as Louis Lingg, barring his anar- 
chism." 

Even his jailers were won by him to pity 
and to reverence. 



311 



Chapter XIV 



MY long task is nearly done, and I am not 
strong enough to linger over the last 
saa happenings. Ten or twelve days after 
I received at Cologne the telegraphic news of 
Lingg's death, I got the newspaper accounts 
of the whole occurrence, which I have used 
in the last chapter, and with the same post a 
long letter from Ida, containing four leaflets 
covered with Lingg's clear script. He had 
written them and given them to Ida to be 
sent to me on her last visit on Saturday, 
the fifth of November, just before the bombs 
were found in his cell. Here is the letter — 

"Dear Will, 

"You have followed my lingering illness, 
I know, and will be glad as I am that the 
doctors are going to allow me to get up within 
a week. I have suffered and must still suf- 
fer; it has taught me that no one should in- 
flict suffering who is not ready to bear it 
cheerfully; I am ready. Our work's nearly 
finished, Will, and it is good work, not bad, 
as you once feared. The First Factory Act 
passed in the State of New York, preventing 



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children under thirteen being worked to death, 
is dated 1886. The only thing that remains 
for one of us now is to do what Jesus did 
with the cross, and by sheer loving-kindness 
turn the hangman's noose into a symbol of 
the eternal brotherhood of men. My heart 
burns within me; we won the Children's 
Charter and it was cheap at the price; good 
work, Will; never doubt it. 

"It is good, too, that you and I got to 
know and love each other. Be kind to Ida; 
marry Elsie; get on with your great book, 
and be happy as men are happy who can 
work for themselves and others. 

"Your loving comrade to the end, 

"Jack." 

I don't wish to put too high these hasty 
lines scribbled in jail almost at the last min- 
ute; but it is impossible to read them without 
recognizing the noble courage and generous 
thought of others which breathe through them : 
"out of the strong came forth sweetness." 

So far as I was concerned this letter lifted 
me out of the slough of despair. Determined 
to do as Lingg asked me, I got work on the 
papers in Cologne and did my best to take up 
again the burden of life. 

Ida's letter to me explained everything, 
and I read it with tears dropping from my 



313 



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eyes. She forced herself to give me Lingg's 
last thoughts: 

'"Tell Will/ he said, 'that it seemed to me 
wrong to strike subordinates or instruments 
more than once, and I was prevented strik- 
ing principals or the court as I had in- 
tended. 

"Besides, we were being misunderstood: 
men of the baser sort said we struck out of 
greed or hate: it was necessary to prove that 
if we held the lives of others cheap, we held 
our own cheaper. Men do not kill themselves 
for greed or hate ; but for love, and for an ideal. 
My deed will teach the wiser among our op- 
ponents that their police are of no use against 
us; authority must be one with right and love 
to win a man's reverence.' 

"He was mad, Will," Ida wrote on, "as 
those are mad who are too good to live. I 
begged him for my sake not to touch the 
thing; but he got me to bring it in on my 
fingers and in my hair, bit by bit; he wanted 
enough for the others as well as himself — 
'the key,' he called it, 'of our mortal 
prison.' " 

The rest of her letter was very simple and 
very touching; it was evidently written after 
the final scene and the quiet burial. Mrs. 
Engel had been very kind, she said, and had 
insisted that Ida should go to live with her. 



314 



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They were together now in the shop, Ida 
helping to take care of the three children. 
The youngest is just like Engel himself, Ida 
added, so chubby and kind and strong; and 
then she went back to Lingg: 

"He told me not to think of the past, and I 
am trying to do as he wished; but it is very 
hard; often I forget, and Johnny pulls my dress 
and says, * Don't twy, Auntie Ida! don't twy.' 

"Elsie comes to see me every day; she is 
loyal and true. Write to her; she is prettier 
than ever, and in her mourning looks angelic. 
Write often, Will; we must draw closer now 
—ah, God! . . ." 

I wrote by return to Ida telling her of my 
loving sympathy, and begging her to let me 
know if I could help her in any way, and in- 
closed a letter to Elsie, asking her if she were 
willing to marry me. She replied that she 
was willing to come to Germany or France, 
and marry me at once; might she bring her 
mother? The letter was all sweetness. The 
dear baby phrases in it were as balm to my 
heart. "I wish I were with you, dear, to 
nurse you; you'd soon get well. You have 
taught me love; I am a better woman for 
having known you, and so proud of my boy. 
I am longing to start, and yet the thought of 
meeting you makes me very shy. . ." The 
sweetheart ! 



315 



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I wrote back that I hoped for nothing 
better on earth than her companionship, and 
that I would begin at once to get a house 
ready and would send for her as soon as pos- 
sible. 

But it was not to be. One evening I had 
wandered about trying to coax myself to hope, 
or at least to work; but in vain. All my 
thoughts turned to melancholy brooding and 
sadness. It seems to me now, looking back, 
that something in me broke when Elsie left 
my room on that fatal afternoon in May. I 
was not strong enough for such tremendous, 
conflicting emotions; something else snapped 
when I threw the bomb and realized what I 
had done, and the last strand that bound me 
to life gave way when Lingg died. Nature 
treats us as we treat stubborn children. We 
cling to the bough of life as long as we can, 
and Nature comes and strikes our fingers 
one after the other, till, unable to endure the 
punishment any longer, we loosen our hold 
and fall into the void. 

My punishment had broken my will to 
live; it had probably undermined my strength 
also, for a simple wetting brought me down. 
Next morning I could scarcely breathe with 
bronchitis, and was ill. I wrote to Elsie and 
told her that I had caught a bad cold; begged 
her to wait for me, I should soon get better; 



316 



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but I knew even then that I was more likely 
to get worse. 

I continued to work at my book feverishly, 
determined to finish my task; but at the end 
of ten days in bed, the kindly people of the 
house called in a doctor, who looked very 
grave and advised me to go to Davos Platz, 
and when pressed told me that I was in a 
consumption, and that both lungs were af- 
fected. The truth was, I suppose, that my 
frame was too weak to resist any attack, and 
I looked forward to the end with a sigh of 
content; one gets so weary of this hard, all- 
hating world! I redoubled my efforts to 
finish the book. As soon as I had had two 
fair copies made of it, and had sent one off to 
Ida and one to Elsie, I felt considerably 
better; only this short, last chapter remained 
to be done. Somehow or other I thought 
that if I could get back to the air of my native 
Alps again I should get quite well, so I came 
back to Munich and then here to Reichholz, 
close to the homeland, for a visit; it will be a 
long one. Before I began to write this chap- 
ter yesterday I wrote long letters to Ida and 
Elsie, taking an eternal farewell. I think, I 
hope, I shall get a reply from Elsie; and if I 
do, I will add it to this last chapter, and the 
whole book shall be sent off to her after my 
death to do with as she and Ida may direct, 



31 



The Bomb 



And now, what is the end of the whole 
matter? I went out into the world and 
fought and laboured in it, and have come 
back to my birthplace. A journeying and 
fighting — a sweet kiss or two and the clasp 
of a friend's hand — that's what life has meant 
for me. One starts out with a certain capital 
of energy, and whether one spreads it over 
threescore years, or exhausts it in three, mat- 
ters nothing. The question is what one has 
done and achieved, and not whether one 
suffered or enjoyed, much less how long it 
took one to do the work. 

There is something in our case, I feel sure, 
to the credit side. As Lingg said, the bomb 
thrown in the Haymarket put an end to the 
bludgeoning and pistolling of unarmed men 
and women by the police; it helped, too, to 
win the Children's Charter, and to establish 
"Labour Day" as a popular festival. The 
effect of Lingg's desperate self-murder was 
prodigious. Chicago took his teaching to 
heart; such a death has its own dignity and 
its own virtue. In some dim way the people 
in Chicago came to recognize that Lingg and 
Parsons were extraordinary men, and all con- 
fessed in their hearts that there must be some- 
thing very wrong in a social state which had 
driven such men to despair. 

One fact exemplifies the change of feeling. 



318 



The Bomb 



Near the spot where the policemen fell in 
the Haymarket, a monument was erected in 
memory of them with a statue of a policeman 
on top. But after a very short time it was 
removed on some convenient pretext to be 
erected again, miles from the scene of the un- 
happy event, in a wooded park, where no 
one sees it or knows what it commemorates. 
Somehow or other it was generally understood 
that the police were not the heroes of the 
occasion. 

In the same way, I remember, after Marat 
was killed in the French Revolution, he was 
given a gorgeous state funeral; his body was 
interred with all ceremony in the Pantheon; 
men and women went mad over him, wore 
Marat hats and Marat ties and Marat coats 
to do him honour; but in a year it was found 
that Charlotte Corday was justified, that she 
was a great woman and not an assassin; and 
so before the months had run full circle, 
Marat's body was taken out of the Pantheon, 
his coffin broken open, and his dust scattered 
to the winds. Justice has its revenges. 

The outcome and the result in our case is 
perhaps uncertain. Was the work well done ? 
Is revolt best, or submission? I'm afraid 
the more I seem to have paid in pain and 
misery for what I did, the more certain I 
feel that we were right. 



319 



The Bomb 



One thing is past doubt. Louis Lingg 
was a great man, and a born leader of men, 
who with happier chances might have been a 
great reformer, or a great statesman. When 
they talk of him as a murderer, it fills me with 
pity for them, for in Lingg, too, was the blood 
of the martyrs: he had the martyr's pity for 
men, the martyr's sympathy with suffering 
and destitution, the martyr's burning con- 
tempt for greed and meanness, the martyr's 
hope in the future, the martyr's belief in the 
ultimate perfectibility of men. 

What have I to say more? Nothing. He 
that has ears will hear, and the others do not 
matter. Nearing the end I begin to see that 
the opinion of one's fellows is not worth much, 
and another saying of Lingg's comes to help 
me here. "The law of gravitation," he said, 
"is the law of the ought; it would be easy to 
put oneself in perfect relation to the centre of 
gravity of this world; would be easy and 
safe and pleasant. But, strange to say, the 
centre of gravity, even of our globe itself, is 
always changing, moving towards some un- 
seen goal. Stars beyond our ken draw us 
and change our destinies. And so Mr. World- 
ly Wise comes to grief. Our only chance of 
being right is to trust the heart, and act on 
what we feel." 

One word about myself. Here at the end 



3*0 



The Bomb 



I am fairly content. I have not had much 
happiness in life, except with Elsie; but 
through knowing Elsie and Lingg, I came to 
a fuller, richer life than I should ever have 
reached by myself, and whoever has climbed 
the heights is not likely to complain of the 
cost. I am only sorry for Elsie and Ida; I 
wish, I wish — but after all, even the roughest 
men do not trample on flowers. 

I cannot believe that in this world any un- 
selfish deed is lost, that any aspiration or even 
hope dies away without effect. In my own 
short life I have seen the seed sown and the 
fruit gathered, and that is enough for me. 
We shall no doubt be despised and reviled 
by men, at least for a time, because we shall 
be judged by the rich and the powerful, and 
not by the destitute and the dispossessed for 
whom we gave our lives. 



321 



Afterword 



TO TIIU BOMB WRITTEN IN 1920 



FLAUBERT exclaimed once that no one had 
understood, much less appreciated, his 
"Madame Bovary." "I ought to have criticized 
it myself," he added; "then I'd have shown the 
fool-critics how to read a story and analyze it 
and weigh the merits of it. I could have done 
this better than anyone and very impartially; 
for I can see its faults, faults that make me 
miserable." 

In just this spirit and with the self -same con- 
viction I want to say a word or two about "The 
Bomb." I have stuck to the facts of the story 
in the main as closely as possible; but the char- 
acter of Schnaubelt and his lovestory with 
Elsie are purely imaginary. I was justified in 
inventing these, I believe, because almost 
nothing was known of Schnaubelt and as the 
illiterate mob continually confuse Socialism 
and Free-love, it seemed to me well to demon- 
strate that love between social outcasts and 



323 



The Bomb 



rebels would naturally be intenser and more 
idealistic than among ordinary men and 
women. The pressure from the outside must 
crush the pariahs together in a closer embrace 
and intensify passion to self-sacrifice. 

My chief difficulty was the choice of a pro- 
tagonist; Parsons was almost an ideal figure; 
he gave himself up to the police though he was 
entirely innocent and out of their clutches and 
when offered a pardon in prison he refused it, 
rising to the height of human self-abnegation 
by declaring that if he, the only American, 
accepted a pardon he would thus be dooming 
the others to death. 

But such magnanimity and sweetness of 
spirit is not as American, it seemed to me, as 
Lingg's practical heroism and passion of revolt. 
In spite of Miss Goldman's preference for Par- 
sons, I still believe I chose my hero rightly, but 
I idealized Lingg beyond life-size, I fear. No 
young man of twenty ever had the insight into 
social conditions which I attribute to him. I 
should have given him less vision and put in a 
dash of squalor or of cruelty or cunning to 
make the portrait lifelike. But the fault seems 
to me excusable. 

The whole book is probably too idealistic; 
but as all rebels — socialists and anarchists alike 
— are whelmed in these States in a flood of 
furious and idiotic contempt and hatred, a cer- 



324 



The Bomb 



tain small amount of idealization of the would- 
be reformers is perhaps justified. On the whole 
I'm rather proud of "The Bomb" and of Elsie 
and Lingg. 

In a pamphlet published by the police, short- 
ly after the execution of the Anarchists, it was 
stated that "Lingg's father was a dragoon offi- 
cer of royal blood, but he only knew his mother 
for whom he always showed a passionate devo- 
tion. Four years after her liaison with the 
handsome officer, his mother wedded a lumber- 
worker named Link. When Louis was about 
twelve his fosterfather got heart-disease 
through exposure and died. The widow was left 
in poverty and had to do washing and ironing 
in order to support herself and a daughter 
named Elise who had been born of her mar- 
riage. 

"Louis received a fair education [I continue 
to give the gist of the police record] and be- 
came a carpenter at Mannheim in order to help 
his mother. In 1879 he was out of his appren- 
ticeship and went to Kehl and then to Freiburg. 

"Here he fell in with free-thinkers and be- 
came an avowed Socialist. In '83 he went to 
Luzern and thence to Zurich where he met the 
famous anarchist Reinsdorf to whom he be- 
came greatly attached. He joined the German 
Socialist society "Eintracht" and threw his 
whole soul into the cause. 



325 



The Bomb 



"In August 1884 Mrs. Lingg married a sec- 
ond time, one Christian Gaddum, in order, as 
she said, to find support for her daughter; she 
herself being in poor health ; she asked Louis to 
return home if only for a visit. 

"But Louis had now reached the age for mili- 
tary service and as his whole being revolted 
against German militarism he decided to emi- 
grate to America. 

"After the wayward boy had taken ship at 
Havre he and his mother corresponded regular- 
ly. All her letters breathed encouragement; she 
sent him money often and concluded invaria- 
bly by giving him good counsel and urging him 
to write frequently. 

"That Lingg had a great love for his mother 
is shown by the fact that he kept all her letters 
from the time he left home till he killed himself. 

"His illegitimate birth appears to have an- 
noyed the youth ; he worried his mother to give 
him his father's name. In one letter she says: 
"It grieves me that you speak of your birth; 
where your father is I don't know. My father 
did not want me to marry him because he did 
not desire me to follow him into Hessia and as 
he had no real estate he could not marry me 
in Schwetzingen according to our laws. He left 
and went I don't know where." 

"A little later Louis appears to have asked 
her to get him a certificate of birth, for a later 



326 



The Bomb 



letter from her satisfies this request. I repro- 
duce it word for word as characteristic of their 
relations : 

Mannheim, June 29, 1884. 

Dear Louis: You must have waited a 
long time for an answer. John said to Elise 
that I had not yet replied to your last let- 
ter. The officials of the court you cannot 
push. For my part I would have been bet- 
ter pleased if they had hurried up, because 
it would have saved you a great deal of 
time. But now I am glad that it has finally 
been accomplished. After a great deal of 
toil, I put myself out to go to Schwetzin- 
gen and see about the certificate of your 
birth. I know you will be glad and satisfied 
to learn that you carry the name of Lingg. 
This is better than to have children with 
two different names. He [the first hus- 
band] had you entered as a legitimate 
child before we got married. I think this 
was the best course, so that you will not 
worry and reproach me. Such a certificate 
of birth is no disgrace, and you can 
show it. 

I felt offended that you took no notice of 
the "confirmation." Elise had everything 
nice. Her only wish was to receive some 
small token from Louis, which would have 



327 



The Bomb 



pleased her more than anything else. 
When she came from church, the first 
thing she asked for was about a letter or 
card from you, but we had to be contented 
with the thought that perhaps you did not 
remember us. Now it is all past. . . . 

I was very much troubled that it has 
taken so long [to procure the certificate], 
but I could not help it. Everything is all 
right, and we are all well and working. I 
hope to hear the same from you. It would 
not be so bad if you wrote oftener. I have 
had to do a great many things for you the 
last eighteen years, but with a mother you 
can do as you please — neglect her and 
never answer her letters. 

"The certificate sent him read as follows: 

CERTIFICATE OF BIRTH 

No. 9,681. 

Ludwig Link, legitimate son of Philipp 
Friedrich Link and of Regina Von Hoefler, 
was born at Schwetzingen, on the ninth 
(9th) day of September, 1864. This is cer- 
tified according to the records of the Evan- 
gelical Congregation of Schwetzingen. 
Schwetzingen, May 24, 1884. 

(Seal.) County Court: Cluricht. 






328 



The Bomb 



"One thing appears from the above, and that 
is that at home Louis' name was Link. Other 
documents, some of them legal, also found in 
his trunk, show that his name was formerly 
written Link. He must have changed it shortly 
before leaving Europe or just after reaching the 
United States. The thought of his illegitimacy 
[according to the police report] helped to make 
him in religion a free-thinker, in theory a free- 
lover, and in practice an implacable enemy of 
existing society. His mother's letters show that 
she wished him to be a good man, and it was 
no fault of her early training that he subse- 
quently became an Anarchist. 

"No sooner had Lingg reached Chicago than 
he looked up the haunts of Socialists and An- 
archists. . . . Lingg arrived here only eight or 
nine months before the eventful 4th of May, 
but in that short time he succeeded in making 
himself the most popular man in Anarchist 
circles. No one had created such a furore since 
1872, when Socialism had its inception in the 

"Lingg had not been connected with the or- 
ganization long before he became a recognized 
leader and made speeches that enthused all the 
comrades. While young in years, they recog- 
nized in him a worthy leader, and the fact that 
he had sat at the feet of Reinsdorf as a pupil 
elevated him in their estimation. This distinc- 



829 



The Bomb 



tion, added to his personal magnetism, made 
him the subject for praise and comment. . . . 
"His work was never finished, and never neg- 
lected. At one time he taught his followers how 
to handle the bombs so that they would not 
explode in their hands, and showed the time 
and distance for throwing the missiles with 
deadly effect; at another he drilled those who 
were to do the throwing. . . . He was not alone 
a bomb-maker; he also constituted himself an 
agent to sell arms. This is shown by a note 
found in his trunk addressed to Abraham Her- 
mann. It reads as follows: 

Friend: — I sold three revolvers during 
the last two days, and I will sell three 
more to-day (Wednesday). I sell them 
from $6.00 to $7.80 apiece. 

Respectfully and best regards, 

L. LlNGG. 

"In truth, he was the shiftiest as well as the 
most dangerous Anarchist in all Chicago. 

"The Hay market riot proved a most bitter 
disappointment. Lingg was fairly beside him- 
self with chagrin and mortification. The one 
consuming desire of his life had utterly and 
signally failed of realization." [Here occurs the 
police account of his arrest which I have repro- 
duced in "The Bomb.*' I now continue it]: 



330 



The Bomb 



"During the time Lingg remained at the sta- 
tion his wounded thumb was regularly attend- 
ed to; he was treated very kindly, had plenty 
to eat, and was made as comfortable as pos- 
sible. 

"One day I asked him if he entertained any 
hostility towards the police. He replied that 
during the McCormick factory riot he had 
been clubbed by an officer, but he did not care 
much for that. He could forget it all, but he did 
not like Bonfield. He would kill Bonfield, will- 
ingly, he declared. 

"Lingg was a singular Anarchist. Though he 
drank beer, he never drank to excess, and he 
frowned upon the use of bad or indecent lan- 
guage. He was an admirer of the fair sex, and 
they reciprocated his admiration, his manly 
form, handsome face, and pleasing manners 
captivating all. 

"There was one visitor lie always welcomed. 
It was his sweetheart, who became a regular 
caller. She invariably wore a pleasant smile, 
breathed soft, loving words into his ears 
through the wire screen that separated the 
visitor's cage from the jail corridor, and con- 
tributed much toward keeping him cheerful. 

"She simply passed with the jail officials at 
first as "Lingg's girl," but one day some one 
called her Ida Miller, and thereafter she was 
recognized under that name. She was generally 



331 



The Bomb 



accompanied by young Miss Engel, the daugh- 
ter of the Anarchist Engel, and during the last 
four months of her lover's incarceration she 
could be seen every afternoon entering the jail. 
She was always readily admitted until the day 
the bombs were found in Lingg's cell. After 
that neither she nor Mr. and Mrs. Klein were 
admitted. While it has never been satisfactori- 
ly proven who it was that introduced the 
bombs into the jail, it is likely that they were 
smuggled into Lingg's hands by his sweetheart. 
She enjoyed Lingg's fullest confidence, and 
obeyed his every wish. 

"It is not known whether Miller is the real 
name of the girl, but it is supposed to be Elise 
Friedel. She is a German, and was twenty-two 
years of age at the time, her birthplace being 
Mannheim, which was also Lingg's native 
town. She was tall, well-made, with fair com- 
plexion, and dark eyes and hair." 

Here ends the police account so far as it con- 
cerns us or throws light on the characters of 
"The Bomb." It is informative and fairly 
truthful but plainly inspired by illiterate and 
brainless prejudice. Still it proves that in my 
story I have kept closely to the facts. 

Frank Harris 



332 



.9/ 
Ik- 



The bomb, main 
823. 91H3143b 1963 C.2 



3 lEbE 03321 ilflfiE 



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